SUAME MAGAZINE

Light-industrial Living

Acknowledgements
This study could not have been carried out without the help and guidance from our supervisor Jørgen Eskemose. We would also like to thank Kumi Koduah Secretary of GNAG, Charles Ampomah, Metropolitan Engineer, KMA, and Krossman Hormenoo, Vice Supervisor of ITTU for helping us achieving a general understanding of The Magazine. Also we would like to thank the people taking their time to tell us their life stories; Especially, Yaw Peprah, Baah-Awuah Atuaene, Thomas Owusu Ansah, Tenii Akapenkum, Kofi Akapenkum, Josef Asante, and Samson Frimpong. Finally, thanks to the people of The Magazine for their hospitality and understanding.

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Preface
The four of us, Rosalina Wenningsted-Torgard, Peter Schulz Schovsbo, Bjarke Ballisager, and Jesper Wegener Bonde, are all 4th year students of Architecture, taking our Master’s Degrees at The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, School of Architecture, in Copenhagen. From 1st of March to 11th of May, we have been residing in compound houses with local families in Old Tafo, Kumasi, Ghana. While living here, experiencing the everyday Ghanaian life and culture, we have conducted a study of The Suame Magazine, an area planned for light-industrial activities focusing on vehicle repairing. As part of a group of 19 students, studying different subjects within the Kumasi area, we have been introduced to different aspects of Ghanaian city-planning. The study has been organised by Jørgen Andreasen and Jørgen Eskemose from DHS (Department of Human settlements) at The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, School of Architecture in conjunction with KNUST (Kwame Nkrumah Univerity of Science and Technology) in Kumasi.

“They can do everything in The Magazine - apart from human beings.”
Mr. Poku, Town and Country Planning Department

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Abstract
The Suame Magazine in Kumasi, Ghana is one of Africa’s largest light-industrial clusters. It is an area of 200 ha filled with polluted industrial waste and noisy, automechanical workshops. But a quick glance reveals that it is more than an industrial site. A walk through the area reveals that people are actually living here. Clothes are hanging out to dry, children are playing, women are cooking, and people are eager to present their homes. Do people live here out of need, or is The Magazine in such a state that people choose to live here? The Magazine as an industrial site is perhaps a phenomena of the past. The combination of industrial and residential zones, are seldom planned. In the case of The Magazine this also seems to be the fact, although old plans from Town and Country Planning Department in Kumasi show that part of The Magazine is parcelled out for mixed use.

…at night the flames from the garbage-fires within The Magazine creates a slight understanding of the size of the area. The blue glints lighting in the distance from the many welding workshops and the black columns of smoke coming from piles of burning tyres make the area resembles a scenery from the science fiction film Blade Runner.

How and why do people live under these conditions?

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Content
The Concept of Living Methodology History of The Magazine Physical Description Functional Description Magazine Experience Organisation Landownership World Bank The Concept of Clusters Artisans and Apprentices Building Typologies Description of Each Zone Selection Criteria Area A Offinso Road Physical Appearance of the Buildings Between Buildings Residential Buildings Going Into the Magazine Area B The Nkradam Stream The Artisans’ Workshops The Shopping Street The compound The Settlement The Landlady Interviews Yaw Peprah Thomas Owusu Ansah Baah-Awuah Atuaene Tenii Akapenkum Residential Density Discussion Conclusion Postscript Notes References Programme The Magazine 2025 6 8 8 9 12 13 14 15 16 16 17 18 22 23

24 27 27 30 31

32 34 34 37 37 38 39 41 44 46 50 53 55 56 57 59 59 60 63

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The Concept of Living
Home, to house, to reside, or to accommodate. These are all words within the sphere of a general concept of living. To uncover what people understand as their home is in this case, to investigate the daily life that takes place at a specific site. By observing who physically use space at changing times and with different purposes, and how these individuals themselves describe the functions of the exact place, we gain knowledge on which mental and physical bricks are being used in the construction of the idea of a home. When reflecting on the concept of home, it is necessary to understand some general human needs and mechanisms in a wider perspective. The impact of cultural, rational or, individually based needs makes each specific case unique, and slightly different from the other. Humans have a fundamental need for sleep. Obvious to everyone it is preferable if this need takes place under secure and comfortable conditions. But security and comfort does not consist of universal, eternal factors. They differ according to fundamental issues like climatic conditions, culture, but also to individual perspectives as demarcation of private spheres, priorities in ones personal life, and positions in local, environmental hierarchies, and the relationship to work, family or other social networks. Because such subjective factors play a major role in the description of a home; what may be fulfilling conditions to one individual, at the same time may be completely incomprehensible and unacceptable to another. In other words, what serves as a basic space for sleeping, eating, laundry washing, and spending of leisure time to one, might appear as public space, work space, or something else to another. Using space in different ways and at different times is not foreign to us. Leisure time and work hours have been combined in a flow of time for each single individual to schedule. As part of this development, the physical spaces originally intended or understood as home and workspace have also changed. Technology has had a great impact on our structures of both physical and psychological boundaries, and as well as the changed distinction between work and leisure time, the boundaries of our private, public and work related spaces, have gone from a solid to fluid state. The tendency, to create a hybrid space occupied by several categories of functions, is also frequently found in societies where the majority of the population works as artisans, farmers and within the informal sector mostly in petty trade. This basically separates the subject of combining spaces into two main categories consisting of the ones who have the opportunity and means to choose alternatives, and the ones who acts out of need. The hierarchy of conditions for certain functions of a specific area is, among other factors, determining for our immediate perception of the intended use of space. Often this hierarchy appears visually in the shape of recognisable structures or notes and makes us categorise the area as, for instance, an industrial site, a residential site, a commercial site or a recreational site. Indications of these categories can be found within the infrastructure, the scale of buildings, the materials of which they are constructed and the way they are situated along the streets or in the landscape, quantity and use of green areas and trees, the possibilities for shopping, the governmental or privately provided institutions, and the frequency and character of human activity during the day and the night. The general weighing of the specific functions of an area might not be equal to one another, but any activity, human or mechanical, leaves traces of itself behind, and by following these traces a new understanding of the specific area might be obtained. This report has its focus on different aspects of housing and living in an area formally zoned as light-industrial area as well as areas zoned for mixed use. No plots are planned by the KMA for residential use only. Our location is Kumasi, Ghana, a city with a population which has grown from 700,000 to 1,200,000 without having an answer to the question:

“Where do these new citizens find shelter?”
To answer this comprehensive question is not specifically our field of investigation; but our studies are concerned with habitation in

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The Magazine, and therefore might answer part of the question. Through its immediate appearance, The Magazine has generally been categorised as a single purpose (its diversity lays within the field of the individual specialisation of the artisans), light-industrial site, mainly dealing with repairing of vehicles, sparepart trading, and different kind of metal work. It is known even outside Ghana as a cluster of well skilled artisans, whereto car and truck owners from as far as Burkina Faso, Nigeria, Togo, and Ivory Coast come to have their vehicles repaired. According to Obeng 100,000 people are estimated to work in The Magazine in the year 2005.1 If this number is correct the Magazine has an enormous impact on the economy of Kumasi, and even the national economy of Ghana. The interesting thing when searching for people residing in The Magazine is that the area represents a part of Kumasi, dominated by light industry and auto-mechanical services. Any other function or facility adjusts itself according to the conditions of an industrial site. Any person spending time here spends time under the premises of mechanical industry. The Magazine offers functions and facilities which are beneficial to the artisans, the apprentices and their common working environment. To search for housing in this area, is to dive into a pool of oil and iron, get under the surface, and spot the little inevitable signs left behind from humans living their lives here; twenty four hours a day, all year round.
1

Do people actually live here, and if yes, why? Is there a recognisable residential area hidden behind the wall of machinery, where everyday life takes place more or less unaffected by the surrounding massive of engine blocks and bus bodies? How does life reveal itself in such scenery? Who lives here? What are the pros and cons of residing in such surroundings? We investigate with eyes influenced by our own lives and our own cultural background. The distinct noises, the sharply pointed litter from metal stretchers and the chemicals from car paint-work, whose toxic smells find its way to your nostrils usually, in our minds, belong to certain demarcated sites, plastered with signs saying

“Do people actually sleep in The Magazine?”
During a one-day reconnaissance tour of the area, our opening question was answered. People do sleep in The Magazine. They live their lives here and they have done it for years. They are not trying to hide this fact. Friendly, they show us their homes. The originator of the statement claiming that The Magazine lays desolated from evening till sunrise, must either have made his announcement out of wishful thinking, far from the actual site, or he has been wearing blinkers during his survey of the area. The statement is out-dated, and we have replaced it with our primary research questions:

“Unauthorised trespassing prohibited”.
We would not add playing children, people dining and drinking or chickens, goats, sheep’s or pigs looking for titbits, to this picture. It would twist it radically and make it appear unreliable. The Magazine is a foreign place to us and it has redefined and extended our point of view. We have tried to understand in which way the cultural language communicates, how indications differ from what we are used to and how concepts and ideas assume foreign, unknown shapes. Our opinion has been, that places might not only be exactly what they appear to be, that they often consist of, or contain, more than what is immediately visible. We have stuck to this opinion throughout the working process, but as an opening to our main topic we asked the basic question

“How and why do people live in The Magazine?”

George Yaw Obeng p. 3

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Methodology History of The Magazine
Unaware of the content of our chosen area we initiated our fieldwork by making spontaneous expeditions through The Magazine. In order to shed a brighter light on the 200 ha, we have also been studying aerial photographs. The different dates of the photographs made it easier to comprehend the development of The Magazine. Using a GPS receiver we positionfixed several UTM coordinates. Without difficulties the coordinates could be identified in the field as well as on the two aerial photographs. This assisted us in drawing maps of the area as well as identifying specific locations found while doing fieldwork. Because of the limited time, we chose to conduct a more thorough study in two areas covering approximately ½ ha each. Based on visual indications we chose two areas containing the various building typologies that we had found throughout The Magazine. In order to cover an as large variety of inhabitants as possible, we conducted a series of quantitative interviews with those living and working within the two survey areas. In addition to the quantitative surveys, we completed a series of qualitative interviews with KMA civil servants. Besides the KMA we made qualitative interviews with residents, workers and various organizations in The Magazine. We studied the limited litterature done on the area, and finally we invited the stakeholders of The Magazine to a workshop concerning our findings and conclusions. The Magazine originated as informal family businesses working with brass artefacts, goldsmith and armoury manufacturing. In the late 1920´s most of the prevalent trades such as blacksmithing, goldsmithing, and brass artefacts work originated as businesses in homes but vehicle repairing became a prosperous business and artisans came together in small groups. The clustering of the artisans continued and at the same time the development of the city infrastructure continued to relocate the artisans to various sites in the inner city. As the businesses have grown bigger the apprentices no longer only come from within the families, but from all over Ghana to learn the skills performed in The Magazine. In 1935, groups of artisans organised in clusters in the formerly armoury area known as the “magazine”. The name refers to the magazine in a weapon, and has stuck to the workshops ever since. These fitter workshops were found near the present site of the Kumasi Zoo and Suame Police Station. In the plan from 1963, the present site of The Magazine has been laid out as an industrial zone and since The Magazine has been located in Suame. The name “Magazine” has become a term for this kind of clusters used in the mid and northern part of Ghana.2 The Suame Magazine is the largest informal industrial area in Ghana, and one of the biggest clusters in micro and small enterprises (MSEs) in Africa. 3 In 1971, the roads of The Magazine were in very poor condition and the buildings were built of temporary materials. The Town and Country Planning Department drew a new plan for the area in which new roads and plots were parcelled out. Along Offinso Road the plots are planned for mixed use and behind these plots the area is for light-industry. The plan is carried out almost as it is drawn, but without the commercial and scrap metal areas planned within the light-industrial plots.4 The plots for mixed use are 900 square metres and three times as big as the plots for light-industrial use. Residential buldings occur on most of the mixed used plots, which according to the owners are 40 years old. 5

Extract of the 1971 Plan

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2 George Yaw Obeng p. 1-2 Catherine Nyaki Adeya p. 9 4 The Town and Country Planning Department 5 Interviews with Samson Frimpong and Thomas Owusu Ansah 3

Physical Description
The Suame Magazine is located on the sloping area east of the main road towards the northern Ghana. The Nkradam stream running all the way through the area demarcates the different boundaries of the local chiefs’ land possessions and divides the area into a New and an Old Site. It is not possible to cross the stream by car but pedestrians can cross on small bridges constructed of old car body parts and wooden boards. Studies of an aerial photograph from 2002 show that The Magazine cover 200 ha. It has reached its limitations for outward expansion and there is among many a wish for acquiring new land for new workshops. Compared to the aerial photograph of 1994, the Breman residential area north of the site has consumed the portion of The Magazine that had expanded on the northern side of New Road. At the same time new land has been occupied by Magazine activities on the plain in New Site. The Magazine can be categorized into three different areas. The sloping area west of the stream and east of Offinso Road is known as the Old Site. The area was planned in 1971 by the Town and Country Planning Department. It is an area of 50 ha consisting of 47 mixed use plots of 900 square metres each, and 783 light-industrial plots varying from 140 square metres to 1200 square metres. The plan of the Old Site is drawn in respect of the topography. Offinso Road runs along a ridge; from the road towards the stream there is a difference in altitude of 30 metres. The plan is laid out as a grid, but because of the landscape it curves within the grid-structure and you cannot see the end of the road or the next crossroad. In conjunction with the small sized plots of 140 square metres, the space becomes intimate. This Old Site has received remedies from a World Bank project, which started in 1996. Ghana received loans for construction of surfaced roads, roadside drains; street lightning, public toilets, and upgrading of existing public toilets as well as construction of waste disposal sites. The two other Magazine areas are in the New Site. One is a 20 ha area parcelled out as a grid with funding from another earlier World Bank project. It consists of 208 plots of around 500 square metres each. The plots are well demarcated and the roads are easily accessible. They are all of the same size, which makes the structure homogeneous. In contrast to the Old Site, the other part of the New Site, an area covering 100 ha is unplanned and only has rudimentary infrastructure: In the years between 1994 and 2002 the workshops have stretched into the remaining open space of the New Site, not following an plan. A plan from 1997 exists, but has never been implemented due to lack of funding. Several workshops in this area are dealing with large trucks and busses, and this has had a significant impact on the shaping of

1971 Plan

Present site of The Magazine

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1997 Plan - not implemented

the structure. The roads are not laid out orthogonal, neither are they organised in a manner that all workshops can be accessed properly by car. Studies of aerialphotographs show that the New Site only has a few closed streets, which makes it easy to manoeuvre large vehicles in and out of the

area. There are almost no dead ends and the crossroads have developed according to the turning circle of big trucks. There is lack of draining in the New Site. The flat swamped ground near the streams gets flooded during heavy rainfall. The

Old Site - upgraded in 1996 by World Bank

World Bank - New Site - upgraded before 1994

New Site

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Freeman Centre Freeman Centre

Freeman Centre Freeman Centre

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Cemetery Cemetery

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Suame Roundabout Suame Roundabout

The The

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mechanics dump toxic chemicals, oil, as well as refuse into the stream, which becomes a major human health problem especially during the rainy seasons. Waste oil is often spilled on the ground to avoid dust and also to harden the ground against erosion from the stagnant water. In addition to this, all over the Magazine vehicle

carcasses are scattered taking up space. Some are abandoned others slowly being dissected into small pieces used as second hand spare-parts.

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World Bank - New Site - upgraded before 1994

Carcasses

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Functional Description
The Magazine today includes various artisans, general mechanics as well as specialised mechanics, spare-part dealer, welders, vulcanizers etc. It is mainly a place for vehicle repair and spare-part dealers. However, more people are beginning to live in The Magazine, which brings along other activities not necessarily associated with vehicle repairing. Spare-part dealers are taking over the business from the mechanics, and new modern electronically controlled vehicles are coming into Ghana, which the mechanics are not able to repair. In the Old Site, the majority of people are making a living on selling spare-parts.6 The Old Site is easily accessed from the Offinso Road, which makes it suitable as a place for commerce. Today, it is also an area with a high frequency of inhabitants, often in large two-story sandcrete buildings that offers rooms for spare-part dealers on the ground floor and accommodation on the top floor.

The housing in the New Site often consists of small shacks made of wooden boards with corrugated iron roofs. Many of the inhabitants are restricted to live in the flooded areas close to the stream. These areas are not suitable for the workshops because of access problems and difficulties of driving vehicles on the swamped ground. People living near the stream spend a lot of energy overcoming the swamped ground by filling in red soil, in order to create a solid foundation for their houses.

The Magazine is filled with chop bars, kiosks, provisions stores and bars. Street vendors selling watches, fruit, and ice cream are also a familiar sight all over the Magazine. In the area with many residents other types of commercial activities such as hairdressers, tailors, and movie-stores appear. Churches, mosques, schools, a fitness gym, banks, and a health clinic can also be found within The Magazine.

6

Based on surveys conducted in zone 5

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Magazine Experience
The intensity of the traffic is somewhat slower going deeper into The Magazine. The roads are often eroded and battered due to rainfalls and overloaded heavy vehicles. Drains have been constructed in same places, but it appears to be insufficient. The streets are filled with large holes and at times maliciously uneven surfaces. The vehicles wobble down the roads making it impossible to walk in only one side of the road. In addition to the rough surfaces, parked cars and momentarily placed foodstands also slow down the traffic. At times traffic jams occur and the travelling salesmen together with workers carrying car-bodyparts assemble into loud crowds struggling with their heavy loads. Along the busy streets people are passing women grilling plantains, fruit stores offering bananas and oranges presented on elegant ironrods displays - Magazine made. order to get their message across. Despite of the overwhelming volume there is little if any reaction from the workers having a speaker put up next to their worksite; no one seems to be burdened to a point where action is taken. In areas where the fitters operate, the sound level can be excruciating but none of the workers are using hearing aids. The workers are running a risky business. Car sprayers and employees working with poisonous epoxy materials seldom use masks. The occasional protection consists of pulling a woollen scarf or t-shirt over the mouth and nostrils. The welders also lack attentiveness of the dangers in their line of work. The result of using regular sunglasses instead of welder’s goggles is easily recognised talking to an old welder. There is far between the streetlights especially in the New Site, but standing upon the sloping hill in the Old Site, the flames from the burning garbage within The Magazine, help create a slight understanding of the size of The Magazine. The blue glints lighting in the distance and the black columns of smoke coming from piles of burning tyres make the area resembles a scenery from Blade Runner. In the dusk, family houses now appear in between the worksites, and the area becomes quiet. All of the sudden the crickets are heard serenading and because of the Nkradam Stream a lot of mosquitoes appear. The extravagant mixture of activities during the day is at night somewhat different. At night, there are no longer audible signs that remind you of the mixture of residential and industrial activities. Late evening, the residential houses appear even more astray than during the daytime. Aside from street-vendors leaving The Magazine there are few activities in the streets and there is hardly ever any cars passing. Apart from the spare-parts left outside of the closed shops and welders in the distance, the amount of industrial activities that goes on during the day can be hard to imagine.

Along the road, artisans and spare-part dealers greet strangers and acquaintances passing by. At times it can be difficult to conduct a conversation without being interrupted from artisans cutting metal or demanding attention. Once in a while a prophet of doom passes the area alerting Judgement Day through a megaphone. Occasionally, high pitch street preachers put up several large speakers in

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Organisation
In the 1970’s around 98% of the artisans belonged to the Magazine Mechanical Association (MMA), which was founded in 1957. This association still controls plots in the area and settles land disputes.7 However, in the 1980’s the younger generation of artisans formed the Ghana National Association of Garages (GNAG). Today, GNAG is the main organisation, settling land disputes, collecting tax, and in general looking after its members’ interests. The main office of GNAG is within The Magazine, but the association has offices all over the Ashanti region. The Magazine is divided into 16 zones and further 8 zones have emerged within Kumasi but outside The Magazine. The inconsistency in numbering of the zones is a result of artisans setting up temporary workshops as well as the rapid emergence of other “magazines” in Kumasi. The zones are not visible demarcated divisions of the land but made for organisational purposes. Zone 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7 are in the Old Site and 1, 8, 9, 11, 12, 13, 18, 19, 21, and 23 are in the New Site. The remaining zones are situated other places in Kumasi: Zone 10 at Suame roundabout, Zone 14 at Krofrum, Zone 15 at Sofoline, Zone 16 at Aspo, Zone 17 at Ahensan, Zone 22 at Bejwai roundabout, Zone 20 at New Tafo, and Zone 24 at Georgia Hotel. Each Zone has a chairman and a treasurer. The chairman must take care of whatever problem may occur within the zone, from disputes among individuals to general problems concerning e.g. lack of electricity. Furthermore, the chairman has to inform the workers in

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his zone of governmental issues concerning The Magazine. If it is not possible to settle the disputes within the zone, the problem will be taken to the GNAG’s main office. According to the secretary of GNAG, Kumi Koduah, they have

to take care of disputes everyday. If any problems occur, while taking care of the disputes, a security man hired by GNAG is handling it. The official structure of The Magazine is hierarchic, and very
Zone 10:
Suame Roundabout

Zone 14:
Krofrum

Zone 15:
Sofoline

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Aspo

Zone 17:
Ahensan

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Zone 22: Zone 20
New Tafo

Bejwai Roundabout

Zone 24: 16 17

Georgia Hotel

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Other Zones in the metro Present site of the Magazine

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George Yaw Obeng p.16

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Landownership
rigid. Within the structure knowledge only moves vertically: from the government, to the chairman of GNAG, to the chairman of the zone, and finally to the individual member. Knowledge is not shared directly between the individual artisans on the bottom level of the association. Informal knowledge about the trades has to be shared within social circles of friends and family. Other associations are working in The Magazine taking care of different interests: The Magazine Spare-Parts Dealers Association, Magazine Caterers Association, Suame Intermediate Technology Transfer Unit (ITTU), The National Vocational Training Institute (NVTI), The Ghana Regional Appropriate Technology Industrial Service Institute (GRATIS Foundation), National Board for Small-Scale Industries (NBSSI), Technology Consultancy Centre (TCC), Association of Small-Scale Industries (ASSI), Association of Ghana Industries (AGI), Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), Empretec, Private Enterprise Foundation (PEF), Intermediate Technology Ghana (ITG), DAPIT, and other NGOs.8 The land in The Magazine is divided into 8 different areas controlled by 8 different chiefs: Tafo Stool Lands, Nkontwima Stool Land, Tarkwa-Markro Stool Land, Nkofehene Stool Land, Ahensanhene Stool Land, Asafohene Stool Land, and Mpintinkahene Stool Land. To begin with the plots were sold by the chiefs to individuals for the purpose of making mechanical workshops. Since there was no regulation stating this, later inheritors of the plots have started using them for other more profitable purposes such as stores.9 Most artisans rent the plot on which they have their workshop and thereby have no influence on whether the owner chooses to change the use of it. This appears to be the main problem in the present development of the Magazine. Many plots have been purchased by developers, or the owners have chosen to build storey buildings with spare-parts instead of workshops. Subsequently the workshops are forced to move and find new land for their activities. According to Kumi Koduah and Charles Ampomah, Metropolitan Engineer, KMA (Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly), there have been several disputes and lawsuits concerning the ownership of the land. Especially between GNAG and the Tafo Chief, where it even came to riots. This is also one of the reasons why the World Bank, who was working in New Site, suspended all its activities. In the 90’s people started buying land from the chiefs instead of GNAG.10 One of the problems at the moment, in the Tafo Stool Lands, is that the artisans renting plots both have to pay drink-money to the chief and ground-rent to KMA.11 KMA have tried to parcel out the land in the New Site, but it was not effectuated and a number of chiefs, who claimed having ownership of the land, started selling bits and pieces of the land to individuals. Things changed when the chiefs became aware of the money they could make on selling land. People in Old Site started as tenants, but today many of them own their plots, and some have started making permanent buildings and houses. Buying land from the chiefs made it possible for the new owners to be in control of the land. In addition, it created a sense of security of tenance and freedom. 12

GNAG

The Tafo Chief

George Yaw Obeng p. 15-17 Interview with Yaw Peprah Interviews with Kumi Koduah, and Charles Ampomah, Metropolitan Engineer, KMA 11 Interview with Dickson Sarfo, chairman of zone 21 12 Interview with Charles Ampomah, Metropolitan Engineer, KMA
8 9 10

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World Bank
In 1996 the World Bank started a new project in The Magazine. Ghana received loans for construction of infrastructure, lighting, sanitation etc, in the Old Site containing zone 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6. A few years before the World Bank had been involved in constructing the roads of zone 1, 23, and part of zone 21.13 ing, the Old Site has improved dramatically. The maintenance of the lightning and the public toilets were supposed to be maintained by taxes collected by GNAG. Unfortunately, this has not worked because of quarrels within the association. Initially, there was a big area reserved for sanitation and an resfuse disposal system. The intention was that this should be maintained on a daily basis, but eventually the system broke down.15 In the rainy season water does not stagnate on the sloping hills of the Old Site as opposed to the New Site on the flat plain. This was one of the reasons why the New Site, according to the plan from 1963, initially was reserved for agricultural use. The Magazine grew and finally the area on the flat plain became an integral part of The Magazine. The demand for new land made The Magazine expand into areas that are flooded in the rainy season. According to Metropolitan Engineer Charles Ampomah, the encroachments have slowed down the flow of the stream and increased the problem of flooding. Within the last five years roads have been cut off by floods and people have been evacuated from the houses because this.16

The Concept of Clusters
Clusters can in general be categorized as follows: The European Archetypes, Large-small firm clusters, High-technology small and medium enterprises (SME) clusters, Emergent less developed country (LDC) SME clusters, and LDC informal small enterprise clusters. The Suame Magazine must be considered as a LDC informal small enterprise cluster. As opposed to the European clusters, which are competing on innovation, quality, and response to the market, the LDC informal enterprise cluster lack support from external institutions. The informal knowledge of the trade is shared between the artisans and the apprentices without going through any official channels. An average workshop in The Magazine employs five workers and competes on low prices and easy access to cheap materials.17 One of the advantages of clusters is the possibility of networking. If one workshop does not have a solution to a problem the next one around the corner probably has. The lack of advertisement suggests that The Magazine as a cluster is known all over Ghana. Even though LDC informal small enterprise clusters usually only operate on a regional market, the size of The Magazine indicates that it is known in the adjoining countries (Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast, and Togo). As opposed to The Magazine, the smaller size of the clusters in Nairobi means that they have to rely on the local and regional market.18 Similar LDC informal small enterprise clusters can be found in Nairobi, Kenya, but not as big
13 Interview with Kumi Koduah Interview with Charles Ampomah, Metropolitan Engineer, KMA 15 Interview with Charles Ampomah, Metropolitan Engineer, KMA 16 Interview with Charles Ampomah, Metropolitan Engineer, KMA 17 Catherine Nyaki Adeya p. 9-11 18 Catherine Nyaki Adeya p. 9-11 14

Streetlights funded by World Bank

Essentially, the project was started to make the area more accessible. Moving from one area of The Magazine to another was difficult, and this slowed down business. Implementing better infrastructure was made to improve the business and thereby reduce poverty. Improving public toilets and well-managed garbage disposal systems would uplift the well being of the ones using the areas. Streetlights placed on the main roads to allow the workers to feel safe and make it possible for them to work longer hours.14 Only few lampposts are functioning today, which makes it difficult to orientate after dark, especially in the New Site. In terms of accessibility and drain-

Public toilet funded by World Bank

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Artisans and Apprentices
as The Magazine. Kamukunji is located within central Nairobi, 3 km from The Central Business District, almost the same central position as The Magazine in Kumasi. Kariobangi is found 15 km to the east of Nairobi and is expanding rapidly because of the position far from the centre, where land prices are higher. As opposed to The Magazine, the clusters in Nairobi also manufacture clothes and paint along with the vehicle repair and sale of spare-parts. As The Magazine, the rapid expansion of the Kariobangi cluster has resulted from a “pooling” effect, where the apprentices educated by the artisans start new businesses within the same area.19 When the World Bank funded an education program called Micro and Small Enterprise Training and Technology Program (MSETTP) you had to be a registered member of the Kamukunji Jua Kali Association to participate. Kamukunji Jua Kali Association can be compared to GNAG in The Magazine. There was a huge interest even outside Kamukunji from people who had no connection to the area, but wanted external support to upgrade their skills. There used to be a similar World Bank sponsored program in The Magazine, where the mechanics received external training and had their skills upgraded.20 Education in The Magazine is gained through informal knowledge sharing. The artisans take in apprentices whom they educate. In 2001, 74% of the artisans stated that they had acquired their skills being apprentices. 16% have had a formal education, while the rest either had learned it from practise or experience.21 The apprentices pay a fee to the artisan and sometimes they are expected to buy their own tools. However, while the training is going on, the artisan pays an allowance to the apprentice. The apprenticeship will take at least 3 years, but usually longer. There are four stages to pass before having learned the trade: the preparatory stage, the acquisitive stage, the imaginative stage, and the innovative stage. The preparatory stage (0-12 months): The apprentices have to clean the workshop in the morning before the other workers come to work. He is expected to watch closely what the other apprentices, workers, and the master is doing. Sometimes he will even sleep in the workshop and working as a watchman. The acquisitive stage (12-18 months): The apprentice learns the basic skills. He usually stands beside the master and follows his instructions. The master will do the specialized work and the apprentice will finish the last fitting. The imaginative stage (12-18 months): The apprentice is beginning to discuss the work and techniques with the master. At this stage he will probably have advanced to a senior apprentice and is working with other new apprentices. The innovative stage (12-18 months): This is the final stage in the apprenticeship. The apprentice knows how the job is carried out. He is beginning to adopt trial and error methods. Furthermore, he will be able to make innovative alterations to broken spare-parts, which are expensive to buy. At this stage, he is beginning to prepare starting his own workshop and to become a master himself. After the apprentice is educated there is no certificate to be given to prove his skills. He has to rely on people knowing him, or he has to prove his skills every time somebody wants work done. To many educated apprentices it is a problem that they do not have a document proving their skills after 3-8 years of education. Advertisement is barely used among the workshops, except for the painted facades of the shops presenting the name, address and telephone number and the line of specific work. Besides the facades other types of advertisement are hardly ever used which means that the shops have to rely on references. Because many of the workshops are specialized there is a lot of work being outsourced within The Magazine. If a customer arrives to The Magazine without being knowledgeable of a workshop capable of fixing the specific problem, the customers can contact GNAG for counseling. Then GNAG will help the customer by recommending a certain workshop. News about talented work is spread by word of mouth.

Apprentice

19 20 21

Catherine Nyaki Adeya p. 9-11 Interview with Charles Ampomah, Metropolitan Engineer, KMA Catherine Nyaki Adeya p. 15

17

Building Typologies

Residential shacks

Residential buildings

Residential Shacks
The residential shacks are wooden and corrugated iron structures, concentrated mostly along the streams. The buildings seem temporary but many of them have been there for many years. Some have concrete floors, but few windows, and no water or sanitation. They are 8-10 square metres and often built in clusters. In each room sleeps one family or two to three persons. It is often tribes from

the northern part of Ghana who resides in these shacks.

Residential Buildings
The residential buildings are larger permanent structures built in sandcrete with corrugated iron roofs. They can be as big as 300 square metres in ground plan and up to three storeys high. Usually, they are houses built 40 years ago when the first plan for The Maga-

18

Commercial shacks and containers

19

zine was made by the Town and Country Planning Department. The buildings accommodate from 15 to 50 persons. Other residential buildings are onestorey detached houses built within the last 25 years by single families. Usually, they house 10 persons, but in case of additional extensions up to 60 persons.

Commercial Shacks and Containers
The commercial shacks and containers are 15-20 square metres and either holds workshops, spare-part dealers, or other commercial activities as kiosks. They are temporary wooden, iron, and corrugated iron structures. In case of workshops, the shacks are storage for tools and other work

related articles. The place of work is around the shack, and the workshop occupies maybe 10 times as big an area as the shack itself. In these workshops 3-10 persons work from 6 in the morning until 6 in the evening. The spare-part shacks and containers have a display in front, which mean that they occupy an area twice their size. Because it is only sale, few (1-5) persons are employed in these stores. Other commercial activities carry out their sale or work within the shacks. Only 1-3 persons work in these places.

are one to two storeys and contain mostly spare-part dealers or stores associated with for instance sale of mobile phones or clothes. Some buildings can hold 16 stores with altogether 30-40 employees. According to Charles Ampomah, the development of larger sandcrete structures started in the mid-eighties and at the same time people started living in the area. In the seventies and the early eighties many of the workers in The Magazine where not as well to do as some are today, but in the mid-eighties and the nineties, those who sold spare-parts started making more profit. Some of these spare-part dealers are among the wealthiest men in Ghana today. Before the mid-eighties the sparepart dealers used to be in the same low-income group as the mechanics. Eventually, they started

Commercial Storey Buildings
The commercial storey buildings are large permanent sandcrete structures with a ground plan of up to 300 square metres. They

Commercial storey buildings

20

Mixed use buildings

developing their business, which made it possible for some of them to invest in permanent buildings.22 When Ghana’s economy started worsen the import of new cars stopped. People continued driving old cars and the need for spareparts increased. The old cars needed a lot more maintenance and the spare-part dealers profited because of this. The appearance of the Forex exchange bureaux gives a sound idea of the money that is being made in this area. The local monetary standard is devalued to an extend where larger business deals are done in USD. The master craftsmen and the ones who became wealthy on the industry are not primarily the ones living in the Magazine today. They only build the houses and make money on collecting rent. Often they dislike the noisy environment and pollution and live outside the Magazine.23

Mixed Use Storey Buildings
The mixed use storey buildings are of the same type as the commercial storey buildings. However, instead of two storeys of shops, there are shops on the ground floor and accommodation on the first floor. Sometimes the owner of the building lives with his family on the first floor, and sometimes

he lives elsewhere and the first floor is for rent. In the Old Site, these buildings have water and sanitation. The mixed use buildings are located on light-industrial plots, which is not according to the KMA’s plan. It probably developed in this way because of the upgrading of the infrastructure and other facilities which attracted potential inhabitants.

Forex exchange bureaux by Offinso Road

22 23

Interview with Charles Ampomah Interview with Charles Ampomah

21

Description of Each Zone
Zone 1 is part of the first World Bank project and is laid out as a grid. It borders Mampong Road, where mostly workshops are located. The space appears open due to the fact that it is situated next to the cemetery. The area consists mainly of smaller sandcrete buildings containing either workshops or spare-part dealers. Many places, buildings are in two storeys, with accommodation, offices, or storage on the first floor. Where there is only one storey, iron rods sometimes indicate that the owner plans to build an additional storey to the building. The zone is situated in a corner of The Magazine next to the waterworks and the Methodist church towards the south. The zone mostly consists of two-storey sandcrete buildings with spare-part dealers on the ground floor and storage or accommodation on top. Between these buildings, shacks containing workshops as well as large sandcrete residential buildings can be found. The residential housing has the highest frequency along Offinso Road, but also appears within the zone. Towards the stream, the buildings gradually transforms into more temporary shacks for both Zone 3, 4, 5 and 6 border on zone 2, with the same structure caused by the World Bank project. Towards Offinso road, there are large residential buildings with spare-part dealers in front – both in sandcrete storey buildings and smaller shacks. A commonly found structure towards the Offinso Road is a U-shape, with the courtyard towards the road. In the bottom of the U-shape lies a large sandcrete building with spare-part dealers and other commercial stores. On both edges are shacks and containers situated. Behind the Ushapes there are mostly two storey sandcrete buildings with stores on the ground floor and accommodation on the top. Towards the stream the plots get smaller and the buildings change into more temporary shacks with workshop. Close to the stream, where no plots are planned and the area is occasionally flooded during rainy seasons, temporary residential shacks can be found. In the entire area, people from the north watch the workshops and stores during night. Zone 7 is bordering on zone 6. However, the zone is not part of the 1971 plan and has not received World Bank funding. Nevertheless, the zone lies within the same infrastructure, which means that the roads have developed in the same way, connecting the area to both Offinso Road and Suame New Road. Because of disputes between the Tarkwa Chief and KMA the area has not been planned as an industrial area. Still, KMA will not recognize it as a residential area. The disagreements between The Chief and KMA have caused the area, in some parts developing into a residential area
Light-industrial plots Light-industrial plots Mixed use plots

Su

am

e

Ne

w

Ro

ad

Off

ins

oR

oa

d

Cemetery

Mixed use plots

Freeman Centre

Cemetery

Waterworks

M

am

po

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Ro

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The U-shape
Suame Roundabout

The

1:25000

Zone 2 is in the area of the latest World Bank project. Infrastructure, sanitation and water are found in this zone and the roads are paved.

housing and commercial use. A church is also found next to a gas station within the zone.

Mixed use plots

1:800

22

with large sandcrete houses while other parts have developed into a mixture of shacks for accommodation and workshops. Like in zone 2-6, there are also many sandcrete buildings with spare-part shops on the ground floor and accommodation on top. Because of the higher frequency of housing in this area, more functions can be found. In the shacks towards the stream you find different commercial functions as tailors, barbers, music-stores, kiosks, and even a fitness centre. Like in the other zones bordering the stream, there are clusters of residential shacks. Zone 8 is bordering Old Tafo. Within the area there are workshops handling smaller vehicles and along the Suame New Road and Mampong Road there are sparepart dealers. No one is sleeping in the area apart from watchmen. The Town and KMA have not parcelled out plots, which mean that the roads have developed according to the accessibility needs of those owning the workshops. Zone 9 and 11 are not planned and the roads have developed according to the turning circle of the trucks passing through the area. As opposed to zone 8, larger vehicles are serviced here. The zone mostly consists of spare-part dealers along the Suame New Road and workshops within the area. Along the two streams smaller shacks with occasional housing are found. However, the amount of people sleeping in the area is considered to be minimal. Zone 12 has been pushed by the residential area of Breman, and has almost shrunk to only being workshops and spare-part dealers along the Suame New Road. In 15 years the area has gone from covering an area of 20 ha to 4 ha. The area is located near the city centre of Kumasi and sought after for residential purposes. The

mechanic activities that use to be in the area did not have the size to be able to resist the housing overtaking the place. Zone 13 is consisting of workshops handling larger vehicles. Along the stream shacks with occasional habitation can be found. Like zone 9 and 11, the roads are not planned and have developed according to the people using them. Zone 18 is totally surrounded by other zones. In this zone there are no residential shacks. This area is almost only workshops servicing large trucks. No one sleeps in this area except the watchmen guarding the area. Zone 19 is a very small area parted from the rest of The Magazine by Mampong Road. It almost only consists of workshops along the road with little commercial activity behind. There are no houses or residential shacks in this zone.

Selection Criteria
In order to find out how many people live and work in the different building typologies and in the entire Magazine, we decided to select two areas containing all the typologies. Furthermore, we wanted to cover the variety of people living and working in The Magazine: The people living in The Magazine and working outside, those living and working in The Magazine, and finally the people living outside and working inside. Also, we wanted to investigate an area affected by external development like the World Bank project.

B

A

Zone 21 is divided into two parts. One is like zone 1 part of the first World Bank project, and is therefore laid out as a grid. It is mostly sandcrete buildings with workshops or stores on the ground floor and accommodation on the top floor. The other part of zone 21 stretches along the stream separating the Old and the New Site of The Magazine. Many people of the Northern part of Ghana inhabit this area. Zone 21 is one of the zones in New Site with the highest concentration of residents. Zone 23 is like zone 1 and part of zone 21 a grid structure caused by the first World Bank project. The zone contains mostly sandcrete buildings with stores or workshops on the ground floor and occasionally accommodation on the top floor. The head office of GNAG is situated in this area along with a health clinic and a bank.

The

Because our main focus is how people live in The Magazine, we selected areas with the highest concentration of habitation. We chose two areas of each ½ ha where visual indications of habitation supported our assumption. This made us chose an area in zone 5 and an area in zone 7. We conducted quantitative surveys to reveal how many people were living and working within these two areas.

23

Area A

The

1:2000

Offinso Road
The topography near Offinso Road makes it possible to have a diminutive overview of The Magazine from the junctions going into area A. On the other hand, standing in front of the two-story high sandcrete structure the appearances of the buildings located behind it are left unknown. Strolling down the road the area appears to be a huge cluster of car fitters side by side with second-hand spare-part shops. Along the road oil-greased spare-parts are displayed next to shiny hubcaps and rear-view-mirrors reflecting the sun. From a distance it is possible to see black smoke from a workshop burning worn-out tires. These impressions make the discovery of several two-story accommodation buildings behind the mass of business activities even more intriguing.

The slanting road makes the drivers push their vehicles to the limit. The soundscape is a constant mixture of squeaking tires, engines on the verge together with honking horns, and large overloaded trucks speeding downhill. Crossing the four lanes of the Offinso Road at places where the rising is steep can be a dangerous pursuit. East of the Offinso Road the area slopes down to the Nkradam Stream. The rolling hills function as a sound barrier for noise coming from the Offinso Road. Soon a

new wall of sound will overwhelm the one who enters deeper into The Magazine. In the area close to the Offinso Road there a majority of spare-part dealers, whose line of business is not as noisy as the ones straightening cars or dismantling engine-blocks. The plots next to the Offinso Road are planned as mixed used plots. Spare-part dealers, workshops, and other smaller service shops such as telecommunication centres and chop bars, occupy the buildings next to the road. Some

Offinso Road

24

of the buildings facing the street consist of rectangular two-storey high sandcrete structures. These buildings have a flat roof often with iron rods reaching towards the sky alerting the construction of an additional floor. The plane roofs are often used for scrap piles or as storage of spare-parts. A television repair shop on the first-floor uses the roof for discarded television screens.

During these periods some of the employees make social visits across the square. Others read The Daily Graphic, sleeps, listens to the radio or plays ludo. Small wooden shacks are spread along the roadside. Chop-bars, telephone-card vendors and people offering phone calls from mobile phones frequently occupy these shacks. The food trade is often run by a couple of ladies serving fried rice with chicken, kenke, fu-fu, and banku together with soft drinks or cold water in transparent plastic bags. There is no electricity available in the food stands, so beverages and food provisions are kept cold in thermo boxes. After placing an order the meals are immediately heated on gas stoves or over sparkling mobile charcoal

stoves. Chop-bars offering a place to sit regularly provide soap and a bowl with water for the customers to wash their hands. The difficulties of rinsing off oil make many of the workers use a fork or a spoon, as opposed to the norm of eating with the right hand. Besides the food stands, there are plenty of whistling, insistent street vendors constantly demanding attention. These street vendors also offer cold tap water poured in plastic bags, fresh fruit, ice-cream, meat pie, watches and toothbrushes all displayed and carried on their heads. Being a street vendor near the Offinso Road is seemingly a hazardous occupation. The merchants run into the street every time the cars slow down, and while gathering around the passing cars, they perform a high pace trade.

Mixed use plots Mixed use plots Mixed use plots

Light-industrial plots Light-industrial plots Light-industrial plots

Commercial storey building by Offinso Road

In front of the large buildings laid out parallel to the Offinso Road smaller one-storey sandcrete structures runs crossways to the road, forming u-shapes and demarcating the plots. They have sheet metal roofs functioning as eaves or canopies. During the day wooden benches are brought out for the workers to gather in the shade. In some of the shops the spare-parts take up most of the space, forcing several of the workers to rest outside under the canopies. There seems to be a lot of leisure time in between jobs.

Mixed use plots Mixed use plots Mixed use plots

Light-industrial plots Light-industrial plots Light-industrial plots Mixed use plots Mixed use plots Mixed use plots 1:800 1:800

1:800

25

26
The
Of fin so Ro ad oa so R d Of fin

The 1:800

1:800

Physical Appearance of the Buildings
The larger sandcrete buildings located on the plots next to the Offinso Road look very much alike. The entrances to the shops consist of an opening with large metal doors. The door openings are often the same height and width as the measurements of the shops. The buildings seem to be designed

eral places flat wooden structures have been laid out for storage of spare-parts. The structures protect the spare-parts from rusting do to stagnant water on the ground. In periods when there is no need for storage space besides the shops the wooden structures are left on the ground taking up space. Besides the wooden structures there are also workshops expanding their enterprises, on the space surrounding their workshops, leaving little space for getting around.

Between Buildings
While doing quantitative interviews in our selected survey area, we met Thomas Owusu Ansah, or Tommy the Glass-dealer as he introduces himself. He is the owner of one of the worksites next to the Offinso Road. The workshop is a small wooden shack situated under a big tree casting shadow on the shop’s rusted sheet metal roof. The ground plan measures 3x2.8 metres, and the inside of the shop is used for storage of spare-parts and tools. There are six employees, but it is seldom that there are activities enough to occupy them all at the same time. Tommy sells and repairs new and second-hand car-windows. The location seems suitable for the enterprise. At times when Tommy

and his colleagues have many cars in need of replacement of windows, the cars are parked on the plot while being repaired and the free space becomes sparse. This makes the access to the other stores difficult and it becomes necessary to move along the adjacent buildings. On this particular plot Tommy’s business is the only workshop that actually performs car-repar on the site. During our quantitative interviews with some of the other shop owners on the plot, we became aware that they too would like space for carrying out vehicle repairs. Sometimes cars are parked in front of the Chop-bar and the windowscreen-replacements are done right next to dining customers. The scenery is normal all over The Magazine. The effect of not having sharp drawn boundaries around the workshops is that various programmes coexist at the same place and time (light-industrial activities and daily life activities). On the ground glass is scattered all around Tommy’s workshop. The glass being used is seldom the hardened kind that burst into millions of harmless small pieces but the kind that breaks into large sharp flakes, making it necessary to pay great alertness walking around without getting cut.

Sliding doors in one of the buildings facing Offinso Road

after the same formula, they are all rectangular shaped boxes. The variation is sparse and consists of the fainted coloured fronts of the shops. The painted frescos often resemble spare-parts sold in the specific store. The colours of the often-used rusted sheet metal roofs have a resemblance to the red soil covering the ground. The tarpaulins laid out in front of the stores, for protection of the spareparts, also share the same dusty palette of fainted colours. The spare-parts are often stored or displayed outside the shops. The displays and repetitions of either oil-greased or rust-coloured spareparts become a decorative part of the scenery. Other shops store the same types of spare-parts in large piles, which make the goods look like indifferent loads of wreckage. In our survey area next to the Offinso Road there are only few spare-part dealers that have displayed their goods in a noticeable organized mode. Inside some of the spare-part shops it can be hard to see whether the goods have been abandoned or stored for upcoming sale purposes. Sev-

Thommy the Glass-dealer’s workshop

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The
Of fin so Ro ad d oa so R Of fin

The 1:800

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The The
Of fin so Ro ad oa d so R Of fin

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29

Mixed use plots

Light-industrial plots

Residential Buildings
Tommy’s uncle Samson Frimpong owns the plot were Tommy’s workshop is situated. Samson Frimpong has a spare-part shop here and he is the landlord of all of the buildings on the plot. He lives with his family in an apartment located on the backside of his spare-part shop. When accessing the corridor to the residential houses you stumble upon several spare-parts. Inside the courtyard a large pile of spareparts is being stored upon wooden boards. Children are playing –running among the pile of spare-parts while greeting us: “Obroni”. Many of the tenants living in the two-storey house are relatives to Samson Frimpong.

Nelson there is no one living in the building. He tells us that he has worked out an agreement with one of the shop owners on the first-floor who is selling mobile phones. Nelson is allowed to sleep upon the staircase between the ground floor and the first-floor on the condition that he works as a watchman during nighttime. Nelson has been sleeping in the building for the past eight months. His aunt helped him get a job in a spare-part shop located next to her food-stand, on the same plot as he sleeps. He has worked out an agreement with the shop-owner, who lives together with his wife in the building behind Nelson, that in the evening he helps her pound fufu and afterwards he can join the family for dinner.

cial building in front of it. When entering the narrow access way one gets the feeling of imposing a private space. It is not a place where unacquainted people pass by.

The courtyard

Clothes are hanging between the buildings to dry and women gather to prepare food while others are resting in the shade upon the stairs on both sides of the house. Women and children assemble anxiously as we enter the courtyard. The surrounding industrial and commercial activities are hardly noticed standing in the courtyard. The open space is sparse and because of the small distance between the tall walls, the acoustics make the sound of playing children and the fu-fu pounding more present than the noise of the surrounding Magazine.

Mixed use plots

Light-industrial plots

Mixed us

1:800

The house of Samson Frimpong

The women are preparing dinner in the courtyard in front of the building, while youngsters hang out on the stairs leading to the veranda. Samson Frimpong has started building two additional storage rooms on the plot. Today the unfinished construction functions as a place for drying clothes. On the plot next to Samson Frimpongs’ we meet a twenty-oneyear-old boy, Nelson, who lives on the staircase in the commercial building facing the street. He is originally from Tamale but came to Kumasi to find work. Apart from

In the house where Nelson sleeps there are several commercial activities that does not have a direct connection to the other businesses in The Magazine. In this building it is possible to locate a cell-phone vendor, a television repair shop, a driving school, an insurance company, as well as a ladies fashion centre. Next to where Nelson sleeps the cell-phone vendor has an additional storage room that Nelson guards. The only access to the residential building consists of a 1.2 metre narrow path next to the commer-

Nelsons home

30

Going into the Magazine
During the day the noisy workshops fill up the area, but when the workshops close the residential buildings becomes more noticeable. This is not only because these buildings light up at night time, but also as a consequence of the amount of alertness the workshop activities are demanding during the day. Passing through the light industrial area during the day, a large intoxicating cocktail of various sounds and smells greets visitors during working hours. At times the pungent stench extends the floating physical barrier of the workshops and makes it difficult to pass by without feeling nauseous. The same goes with the level of sounds that for outsiders might seem to exceed the tolerable.

ered with idol posters and piles of stacks shoes. Besides his two daughters, Josef Asante lives with his wife who at this moment has left town to attend a funeral. The family has been living in the building for the past eight years. It was the Mechanical Association that gave Josef the land. Before the two-storey sandcrete building was built, Josef had a small wooden shack from were he ran his straightening enterprise. Today he

shades the veranda, which makes it possible for the family to rest outside during the day. Because of the sloping hill and the fact that they live on the first floor it is possible to have a good overview of The Magazine. During the day it is possible for Josef to interact with the workers underneath the veranda, while at the same time being able to draw back to the privacy of the veranda.

The house of Josef Asante

The house of Josef Asante

pays rent to the government and collects tolls from the other shop owners in the building. He is the owner and landlord of the building and the director of a spare-part shop on the ground floor. The style and mixture of programme (housing and sparepartdealers) is typical for many of the houses in Old Site. In this apartment there are four rooms: one for each of the daughters, a living room, and a bedroom for Josef and his wife. He is continuously improving his premises: recently he renovated the façade of the building and now he is putting up tiles in the bathroom and toilet matching the floor on the veranda. The first floor veranda facing east is the access path to the adjoining rooms and is at the same time functioning as an additional living room for the family. The roof of the building works as an eave that

One afternoon we are invited to visit Josef who lives on the 2nd floor on top of a house with sparepart dealers at the ground floor. He is calling us from the veranda and in a friendly and casually manner invites us into his living room. The room is 3x5 meters and furnished with two red plush couches decorated with large ornamentation shining like gold. At the end of the room there is a mantelpiece with a television set on top of a DVDplayer. There is no light coming through the drapes in front of the windows, but a naked green bulb hanging from the ceiling lit up the room. On each side of the living room his two teenage daughters have their individual rooms cov-

Josef finished school in 1968 and the year after he came to work in The Magazine as a straightener and welder. He was born in Buoho, a small village eight miles from Kumasi. Today Josef no longer works in The Magazine but occasionally he goes to Buoho to carve stones. His wife and daughters work outside of their house selling local dishes from a chop-bar and from the first floor veranda it is possible for Josef to stay in touch with them while they work. An hour later, we step out of the living room onto the veranda, noticing how peaceful the area has become. Joseph says that at eight a clock in the evening the entire place is usually quiet and he is able to get a good night’s sleep. The dramatic change in sound volume from when we arrived till now makes it easy to relate to his statement.

31

Area B

The

1:2000

The Nkradam Stream
We have entered The Magazine from the Suame New Road and have been moving through an area of large vehicle workshops between rusty bus bodies, trying not to look into the alluring white flames of the welders. We have passed glistering, newly painted cars still with the sweet odour of solvents in the air. As we cross the stream that runs through the area the path turns into a small steel bridge. The crossing is a busy passageway and though the water is low, it is not appealing to trip into the soft colourful riverbanks of scattered plastic bags, household refuse, and human waste. Safe across we are met by music playing from small shops along a steep narrow path. Next to the stream behind the shops is a clearing with boys playing football. Laundry is hanging covering the front of some wooden shacks.

We are trying to locate the chairman of the zone, since we know that it is good custom to introduce oneself before entering an area. In the shade of some trees we find a group of men working. While explaining our project one of the Masters, Kofi arrives. He takes us to James Dzimasah, the chairman of zone 7 who is also working as a mechanic. James welcomes us, pleased to hear that we will not need personal assistance to do our research. There are two ways of arriving to the area. One is by car from Offinso Road, following first a sloping paved and then a gravel road. Another possibility is to arrive at the bottom of the area. The Nkradam Stream is running through and from this side access is only possible by foot. On the West side of the area larger sandcrete structures of mixed use are situated. Housing is

found towards the north. South of the area workshops building busses and handling larger vehicles are found. East of the stream is New Site with its temporary wooden structure workshops. The functions inside Area B are gathered in clusters. The auto mechanical workshops have easy access to the road. The sparepart dealers and other commercial shops are situated along the busy passage leading to the bridge. Some permanent residential buildings are sharing a garden with the neighbouring houses. Next to the stream is a residential settlement of small wooden shacks located. Two of the family-houses have a bar attached, both facing an open area. In between them is an enclosure with a workout fitness gym established.

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Football field

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Football field

The

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33

The Artisans’ Workshops
On the roadside of area B is a small container housing a barbershop. Colourful posters with photos of hairstyles are signalling the business. We are welcomed by Isak the barber, while he is busy trimming a customer. Afterwards he poses for a photo in front of his shop, as his sister is sitting at the side under a parasol selling phone calls on her mobile phone.

The main work field in this area has to do with repairing vehicles. As previously described, the main workspaces are outside and often cover 10 times the area of the small workshop-shacks. The actual buildings have anonymous appearances without any signposting. It is the presence of cars that make the workshops visible. The workspace areas change according to the amount and character of the work. The mechanics use the space closest to the workshop-shacks

row a watchman lives with his wife and child. The Wooden shacks are all similar and it is difficult to distinguish his home from the workshops.

Workshop

The Shopping Street
Inside a small container behind the Muslim praying place, we find a young man named Oseri, who is dressed remarkably businesslike. He sells utensils for the workshops such as sandpaper and weldingthread. He also has a spare part shop next to Offinso Road. The conditions are quite different for the two shops. In area B he has had the shop for about a year and may be told to move anytime since the church owns the land. At the Offinso roadside his father owns the plot. Large busses build from scratch lie like stranded skeletons of whales. In between the bodies we see a couple of apprentices hanging out in the shade of a shelter made of an old van. This is where they go during their breaks. The sloping path towards the stream is eroded. It is a busy passage leading to the bridge with

Area B

Another container is owned by Comfort Breya who runs a sparepart shop. It is the first building in a row of wooden shacks stretching into the area. The row consists of small houses connected with open sheds of corrugated sheet metal roofs. In front of the workshops is an open space lying in the shade of some trees. Situated at the end of the row is a small sandcrete foundation with a canopy. The workshop next to it has built this as a Muslim praying place. Since we have already introduced ourselves to the workshop where Samuel is a master, people working there are more than willing to help us with listing the names of the employees. Generally the workers are auto mechanics, electricians, welders and painters.

for minor repairs. Some work can take weeks, and additional space for this is found underneath some large trees in the middle of Area B. The painters’ workspace takes up a larger part of the open area. Their work is sensitive to dust and rain, so in addition they have an open shelter to move into. A scent of fried chicken and cabbage stew mix with the hot dusty breeze.on the backside of Samuels workshop where we meet Abena Serwaa. She has been working here for 8 years selling food from her brightly coloured wooden stall. She arrives at 10.00 in the morning to prepare the food - ready to serve it at 2 pm. This space also functions as a resting place for lunchtime visitors. Within the same

34

Football field

The

1:800

small shops on each side. Narrow openings between the buildings connect the path with the settlement behind. The similar structures and functions on each side of the stream make a clear correlation between zone 7 and New Site.

Lisbeth Serwah is sitting behind the lace drapes in the entrance of a small container. From here she runs a dressmaker shop. Her sister Philomine is paying her a visit on her walk around The Magazine selling toothpaste. They both grew up in a house at the northern side of area B and Philomine still lives there. The front of a shop is covered completely in Kansas work-clothes, and inside we find the owner Mercy Boakye greeting us. While we are talking small children are gathering under the canopy.

Next to Mercy’s shop is an open wooden shed containing a huge pile of old worn-out black leather shoes. They belong to Oscar.

“I sell them to the workers” he says “they often buy them one at the time. They don’t have much money and they need good strong shoes for work”.

“This is Mercy’s little helpers”
she says. She has thirteen children coming to help her unpack the goods.

The shopping Street

Oscar

35

Football field

The

1:800

The fitness gym

36

Walking past the workshops we are called by one of the workers. He leads us through a crooked door in an enclosure of corrugated iron sheets in the shade of some mango trees. We are utterly surprised by the sight that meets us – iron-pumping bodybuilding musclemen working out, within what looks like a “hen house” from the outside. They pose in front of a mirror showing off their bodyworks, trying to outdo each other. The training-equipment is made in The Magazine from old vehicles parts.

between the house and the workshop area to the Nkradam Stream at the bottom. Near the courtyard is a storage-shed, which belongs to two of Faustinas uncles - Mr. Manquar and Mr. Kofi Jesus who have a carpenter’s workshop on the other side of the small stream. When we address their workshop later in the week, the man we get to talk to is extremely defensive.

The Settlement
We move to the lower part of the area to the wooden shacks next to the stream. We stride towards the settlement, and is as usual met by a crowd of children smiling and shouting obroni! The children call for a young man who speaks English. His name is Kofi and he is happy to assist us with translation. He is part of the Builsa Tribe from the Upper East Region and lives here with his family. The settlement lies hidden behind the line of small shops and at the foot of two concrete family-houses. Kofi explains that the one next to the shops belong to the woman who owns the land they live upon. Some of the buildings in the northern edge of the settlement are attached to the wall of the other concrete house.

The Compound
Located next to the barbershop is a house which appears residential. The front of the building is facing the road and has a covered veranda where two elderly women are sitting. We are surrounded by neighbourhood children, as we meet a young woman washing clothes. Her name is Faustina and she grew up in this house as her mother and grandmother before her. It turns out that what looked as some separate concrete buildings on the 2002 aerial photo have been joined into a large compound-like structure around an open courtyard. Parts of the walls are still unpainted, and new roofing indicates, that the present structure has been altered or extended. The south side of the family house towards the workshops has a wooden extension with a curtain covering the entrance. Inside is a bar run by one of the ladies living in the family house. After school her daughter helps her until 10pm when they close for the night. A small stream runs from the road

“You cannot be walking around here on your own - handing out papers and asking questions about peoples work! How do we know that you are not doing some kind of criminal investigation? How do we know that you don’t have dynamite in your bag and want to dig a hole under here and blow away the place?”
We show him the papers from KNUST and explain that we have been talking to both GNAG and the Chairman but he is not satisfied... He is busy and walks away…so do we.

Inside a residential shack

Family house

On the backside of the fitness centre is an open space for cooking in the shade of some trees. The shacks right behind the shopping-street belongs to the Builsa

37

tribe. They form a small courtyard which is a place for household activities. The neighbouring shacks are built by Frafra people also from the Upper East Region. We have language difficulties and some have left for a funeral so we do not get the exact number of people living there. Kofi tells us that many more of the Frafra people are living around in the workshop-area on the other side of the stream.

sets and the welding flashes from the workshops shine brightly in the twilight. The electric welders are the first to come in the morning and the last to leave in the evening. This is the time when the power is sufficient enough for their equipment.

working hours. The provision store on the sloping path is still open and the lights lead the way on the bumpy surface. Together with some scattered lights under the trees the workshop area is like an empty stage set after the show. We are going to see the landlady in the concrete house close to the settlement. A man greets us and offers us a seat in plastic armchairs. His name is Baah and he is married to the landlady who owns the house and the plot. He leads the conversation focusing on the lack of hospitals and schools in the area. These are the main problems as he sees it being an inhabitant in The Magazine for many years. The house is a rectangular concrete building with a wooden structure in front which contains cookingspace and a bar. The entrance to the building is through a veranda facing the workshop area of the car-sprayers. In the evening the industrial workspace is taken over by leisure activities. As we are leavening, people are gathering outside the house in the light to see a football match on television. The air is filled with cheerful excitement replacing the usual hammering and pounding of The Magazine.

The football field

The site of the settlement is located on a steep hill. Small sheds are placed in the perimeter of the settlement towards the stream. Some are toilets and others are for bathing. The wastewater runs directly into the stream, which is already filled with rubbish and refuse. A woman sits in front of one of the shacks outside area B and calls us. She greets us and proudly shows us her small wooden house.

The Landlady
The clock has past 6pm and there is a steady flow of people passing the bridge heading home. On the other side of the stream, music is playing from a lighted shed. This is a bar that comes to life after

“But the problem is too much toilet”
she says and point towards the stream. In the grass a small dog is playing around with a pig that is busy munching in the riverbed. The boys are showing off their football skills in the open field as the sun

The Landlady

The Bulsa tribe

38

Interviews
In order to gain a further understanding of the inhabitants and working force in our two selected sites, we decided to make a series of quantitative interviews. The surveys were done in order to shed a light on the tenants and landowners. The quantitative interviews worked as a two-way introduction and as the base for picking out our cases. Through our surveys we tried to gain a clearer picture of where people originated from, and where workers working in The Magazine today were living.

Number of people living in survey area A
Lives and works in the same area: 8

A

65

Total

Number of people living in survey area B

Lives and works in the same area: Originally from the Kumasi area:

5 60+

B

141+

39

People working in survey area A
Auto-mechanical artisans: Spare part dealers: Other commercial activities: 22 88 22

People working in survey area B

Auto-mechanical artisans: Spare part dealers: Other commercial activities:

50 7 26+

Lives in Kumasi:

103

Lives in Kumasi

83+

Total number of people working: 83+

Originally are from Kumasi:

70

Total number of people working: 122

Portraits of The Magazine
People working in survey area B
Auto-mechanical artisans: Spare part dealers: Other commercial activities: 50 7 26+

Lives in Kumasi

83+

Total number of people working: 83+

40

Yaw Peprah

Yaw Peprah

A Thursday afternoon we come to The Magazine. From the busy Offinso Road with people selling everything from old worn out engine blocks to brand new Mercedes hub caps, we walk down through Old Site. Behind the first two rows of buildings containing spare-part shops and residences we turn right and onto a narrow dirt road going parallel to Offinso Road. People are getting ready to call it a day. They are sitting outside their shops playing draughts and ludo. Some are covering up the large piles of spare-parts or taking them inside their stores. As always when we come to The Magazine, people shout at us:

As we approach his workshop with pump repairing, we can see that he is not around. Some of his 11 apprentices are sitting around on the benches in the shade of the corrugated iron roof, while the master apprentice is finishing the work on the last pump of the day. We are told that Yaw soon will be back and while we wait, we get into talking with a journalist who is also waiting for him. 8 months ago Yaw was on a radio program where the journalist interviewed him about The Magazine and the work carried out here. Apparently people where complaining about the poor work done in The Magazine, and Yaw as one of the spokesmen of the area had to explain, that because people choose to replace the broken car parts with second hand spare-parts, the mechanics cannot control the quality of the work. Yaw claims that if people instead used new spare-parts there would not be a problem.

According to the journalist, Yaw is the man to talk to if you want a messages spread in The Magazine. A while ago a politician came to The Magazine to plead his cause and was told that Yaw was the man who could gather people in the area. In no time the stakeholders were there to listen to the politician. While talking to the journalist and the apprentices, Yaw appears. He has been showing his old friend, also named Yaw, around The Magazine. All day he has been running errands and talking to people, but now he has the time to tell us his story. Yaw Peprah was born in 1959 in Aboase, the town known for its goldmine. After school he became an apprentice along with his senior brother. They learned the trade in their uncle’s workshop in The Magazine. At the age of 26, in November 1985, he decided along with 17 other Ghanaians to go to Libya to find work. At that time

“Where are you going?”
and as always we stop and explain the purpose of our visit. Today we are going to interview the treasurer of zone 5, Yaw Peprah.

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Libya was known for its wealth and many Ghanaians went there. First they went by car to Burkina Faso, then through Djenné, Gao, and Timbuktu in Mali. Here there were no vehicles to be found passing the dessert to Algeria, so they had to walk to Libya. After walking for several days, they reached the Libyan border at night time. It was dark and they were met by a barbed-wire fence. The next day they were chased by the Libyan police. They had no papers and were illegally in the country, so they were tossed into a car and driven straight to prison.

He started working in the goldmine in his hometown. For 12 years he was a hard working employee, who was liked by the head of his department. When he wrote his resignation they were not happy with him because they expected him to keep working there. In 1986, his uncle who started the workshop died, and Yaw’s senior brother took over. When the brother suddenly died in 1998, Yaw had to resign from the goldmine and take over the family business. Yaw now lives in his own house in Biofoyeu near Santase with his wife and 3 children. At 7.30 am he leaves the house to drive to work in his own car. After 30 minutes he is in The Magazine ready to the day’s work. He has 11 apprentices. The number of apprentices has reached its limits, because the amount of work has declined. The apprentices, he has educated, have become artisans themselves and have taken some of his customers with them. The workshop building on the plot was constructed by his uncle in 1974. When Yaw took over, the workshop looked different. They were working on the machinery inside but because of lack of ventilation he built an open shed and moved the work outside into the open air. Before his uncle died, the owner of the plot promised to let him keep the workshop on the plot. Yaw cooperates with the landlord, and he believes that the workshop will still be there for many years. Every month he pays a rent of 50,000 cedis to the landlord. Before he only paid 20,000, but at a funeral the owner came to him and said he needed more money, so he raised the rent with 30,000 cedis. The problem in The Magazine is the spare-part dealers taking over workshops. The land owner

pushes the artisans off the plots in order to build storey buildings with spare-part shops. Then, the workshops start operating along the roadsides; both Offinso Road and New Site. At the moment Yaw is the treasurer for zone 5 and says that GNAG is not doing anything to encounter this problem. It is not possible to discuss it within the association. People will just start shouting.

“GNAG is not effectively working, people don’t pay their dues. Everybody is looking out for their own interests.”
Yaw is one of the executives in a new association called Auto Professional Artisans’ Cooperative. It was founded to acquire some new land, placed 10 kilometres away in Cordie. They sent the elders to negotiate with the chief. He agreed to give them the land, but it costs 10 billion, which they do not have. An investment bank has to acquire the land and sell it to the artisans, who will pay for the plots over a 10 year period. The artisans at the moment do not own the plots on which they are working. Therefore they are driven away by the plot owners, who want to build large concrete buildings with spare-part shops.

Workers playing ludo

In that period Ronald Reagan was the president of USA, and the Americans had just bombed Tripoli. Everybody who looked like an American was put to prison. Because Yaw and his friends had no papers and spoke English, nobody believed that they were from Ghana. For 2 months they were in prison, with ten spoons of rice a day. Finally the Ghanaian embassy had them released and put on an airplane back to Ghana. Yaw arrived in Kumasi; skinny, and only carrying what he was wearing in the Libyan prison.

“The children we are teaching now, they will definitely get there own shop. Where are they going? There is no place”.
The new land will from the beginning be planned only for workshops. Spare-part dealers will not be allowed inside the area; only in the perimeter of the site. If the government made laws concerning the present site for The Magazine, it might solve the

42

problem, but Yaw does not believe it will happen. In the goldmine they had laws. If you hit somebody or slept on working hours you would simply get fired.

some family from the north sleeping under the open shed. They would hang up a curtain and sleep behind it, and in the morning when Yaw came to work they would be gone. Yaw starts talking about the new technology coming into the car industry. The workshops cannot stay in this area and at the same time implement new technology. A new site with bigger plots and ownership of the land has to be provided. They need education for repairing the new electronic pumps coming into the country. Also, they need new machinery, which they cannot afford to buy. Nobody in The Magazine knows how to repair the new electronic cars. One of Yaw’s friends was offered the job to repair a brand new Land Rover Defender. A small part within the engine was broken, but because nobody knew how to repair it, they replaced the entire engine with an old second hand engine.

“In The Magazine they do not mind the safety of the human being.” “No law – no safety”. “The goldmine was perfect. If my brother hadn’t died, I would still be working in the mine.”
However, he will not give up the workshop to work in the goldmine. It is a family business and he has been able to build his house in Biofoyeu because of the workshop. When he is not around, there is a watchman watching the workshop and the other buildings in the area. The watchman used to have

Yaw is getting ready to go home after a day’s work. He changes his clothes, closes the workshop for the day, and drives back to Biofoyeu. The apprentices spread all over Kumasi before they meet again the next day, hoping that someone will show up with a broken manual pump that needs to be fixed.

Yaw Peprah’s workshop

43

Thomas Owusu Ansah

Thomas Owusu Ansah

As many times before, we come to one of the plots in Area A, where we are conducting our surveys. We talk to Tommy the Glass-dealer, who at the moment is busy. The plot is filled with cars waiting to have their windows fixed. Tommy is running around talking to everybody and organising the work. All around him the spare-part dealers are beginning to close down their shops, but Tommy is still working. Actually, we came to talk to his uncle Samson Frimpong, who is the owner of the plot, where Tommy is working. But Samson is a busy man and not easy to get in touch with; so now we are waiting for Tommy to finish his work. The workshop is getting quieter, and he is getting ready to close. He asks if we want to see where he is living. The family owns two plots in the area: one is administered by Samson Frimpong, the other one is located around 500m down Offinso Road towards the city centre on the opposite side of the road.

This plot is larger, and it is here that Tommy lives with his family. Coming into the house it is easy to see from the family’s surprised looks that they are not used to having Bronis visiting. However, the welcome is warm . The house is a large two-storey building. It is almost like a traditional compound house but without the fourth wing. In the middle a large 3m wide staircase leads up to the second floor where Tommy has his room. We are invited inside, and immediately the television and stereo are turned on. The room is divided into two by a curtain. One side is used as the bedroom and the other as the living room. We are placed in the large soft fabricsofa listing to the television. Tommy disappears, and reappears with two bottles of the local non-alcoholic Guinness beer, Malta; only for us, he is not having anything himself. He places himself in the

sofa opposite us, but because of the sound level it is not possible to have a conversation. We ask him to turn down the volume in order to get his story right. Tommy’s full name is Thomas Owusu Ansah. He was born in 1976 in Offinso, 12 kilometres from Kumasi. After secondary school he had some financial problems, but one of his friends in Accra, who had a workshop where they fixed glass, asked him to come and work there. He did not know anything about cutting glass but after two years he had learned the trade. Back in Kumasi his family helped him start a workshop on the plot where it has been the past 5 years. He has 3 apprentices in his workshop. Because the workshop is placed on his uncle’s plot, he does not, like other people in The Magazine, have to worry about being pushed out in favour of large concrete storey-buildings; he does not even pay rent for the

44

workshop. He is doing a good job, cutting glass, which is why people come from all over Ghana to have their glass fixed in his workshop. It is illegal to drive around in Ghana with a broken windscreen. Coming to Kumasi Tommy went to live with his uncle in the very same room where we are sitting. After a few years his uncle found the room too small and moved back to their village Offinso. Tommy took over the room, and today he is living here with his wife Sarwaah and his two sons Ebenezer and Abbot. As we talk about his sons, the eldest appear behind the curtain. Seeing the two Bronis in his father’s sofa makes him run away fast. By Tommy’s persuasion he reluctantly returns and sits in the sofa next to his father. When Tommy’s uncle left for Offinso, he also left Tommy in charge of the house. Every month he receives rent from the people living in the house as well as from the ones renting the shops in front of the house. The shop renters pay a monthly rent from 100,000-150,000 cedis. This money, Tommy collects and sends to his uncle in Offinso. Tommy says that he considers his family house as a part of The Magazine, and it is a good place to live. Yet, according to GNAG, Tommy’s house is on the wrong side of Offinso Road to be part of The Magazine. There are no official zones on that side of the road. However, Tommy believes that The Magazine is changing:

“in the future there will be more spare-part dealers. If you are selling new spare-parts you will survive.”
Yet, if you have a workshop you might not survive unless you are very specialized. As for his own part, he does not worry. No matter how the car industry develops, there will always be a need for people changing windscreens. Tommy has also started selling glass instead of just cutting it and repairing it; he actually consider himself as much a spare-part dealer as an artisan. His children’s education is important to him. In the future he will buy a chop bar for his wife just across the street from where he is working; but not as long as the children are small. When they both are old enough to go to school, his wife will be selling food just opposite of his workshop. This will help to support the children’s education.

A girl comes into the room and flings herself on the couch. She is not part of the family, but is renting a room in the house. Tommy is a fan of the local football team Kumasi Ashante Kotoko, but he is also very fond of Liverpool; he cannot really say which team is the best. When we leave the room we greet Tommy’s wife, who is standing outside on the front porch with the children running around her. Outside it is getting dark, and all over the place the charcoal stoves are getting ready for tonight’s dinners in the neighbourhood. Tommy follows us back to his plot where everything is closed. While we have been talking Tommy’s apprentices have closed the workshop, and all the spare-part dealers have taken their articles inside and closed for the day.

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Baah-Awuah Atuaene

Baah-Awuah Aiuaene

Offinso road is smelling from boiling stew on this late and humid Friday afternoon. In each direction of the roads four lanes, roars overloaded trucks, yellow and Bordeaux-red taxis with biblical quotes written on the rear windows, next to rattling tro-tro’s with absurdly high pitched voiced ticket salesmen, calling out the names of the various terminuses. Hectic honking and yet slow moving, through the heat and smoke of the engines, we reach Tarkwa and zone 7 of the The Magazine. From the junction we continue by foot down the sloping, still paved, road until we reach the bend at “Japan House”. We make a left and step across the kerb, enter the gravel road that leads us along the dark, old, wooden workshops and the scattered mango trees. The human flow is mainly moving up hill, against us. The masters’ apprentices are cleaning and organising the tools. Almost everyone is preparing to leave to spend the evening alone or with their families. A handful of young apprentices are having a laugh in a battered Volk-

swagen, right next to an annex to their workshop, serving as a place for prayer to those of the workers who profess to Islam. The dynamic diversity of this special area is truly astonishing and fascinating from the first sight. It is a world of countless veils, hanging like the thick, black clouds of smoke from fires made of tires, covering layer upon layer of life as it is being lived in these surroundings. Next to the open-air gym, by the wooden cover of a carpenter’s workshop sits Baah-Awuah Atuaene. Leaned back against the trunk of the vigorous mango tree, it is obvious that his doings in these closing time hours are of a different character than so many others. He is not about to leave. He is staying. He lives here; with his family. This is their neighbourhood. We walk with Baah-Awuah to his house. Accompanied by the sound of his clicking flip-flops and with his loose hanging jogging pants, he himself inspires to a cosy, homey atmosphere. The impression of

this place as an industrial Mecca for car repair fades as fast as the setting sun. Baah-Awuah’s wife, Akua Aasntewaah, does not speak English and she is busy with the peeling, cutting and boiling of yams, as we arrive. A warm smile and a clinch of our wrists (her hands being dirty from the yams) assure us that we are welcome in her home. Behind the curtain which we pull aside, is the entrance to a bar room. At the moment there are no visitors and we arrange ourselves on two out of three wooden benches with a small table between us. A few commercial beer posters are decorating the multicoloured walls, but besides from this, the room is bare and simple. A second doorway leads to an open courtyard and through a cut out hole in the wall behind Baah-Awuah, you would place your order for drinks. Since 1985 this spot has been run by Akua and, during the last years, with help from her sister’s daughter, Abrada Darkowah. The same year, Baah-Awuah hired a

46

contractor to start the process of constructing the present house, which is separated from the bar by a small bulging path. It took years to reach this stage because the work was done bit by bit, whenever there was money. While the establishment of their new home was slowly proceeding, Baah-Awuah and Akua lived in a rented house in a nearby residential area of Tarkwa. By the time KMA had plans of extending the busy Offinso Road, the couple were forced to leave and settle permanently as neighbours to Akua’s bar in the The Magazine. Acquiring land is not easy in Kumasi. It was Baah-Awuah’s luck that he some 10 years earlier had applied the chief of Tarkwa for a plot of land in The Magazine’s, at that time, bush-like area of zone 7. Without this application he and Akua would have been left only with the government’s compensation of 30,000 Cedis and a hope that their closest relatives would be able to offer them shelter. According to Baah-Awuah, many families of Tarkwa ended up in this situation during the KMA’s demolition process for the extension of Offinso Road. The Magazine, with its landscapes of glistening oily slopes, is not foreign to Baah-Awuah. Though he was born and raised in Nkasigm in the Brahfo region, 140 kilometres from Kumasi, he started at the age of fourteen, his journey through the advancement of the The Magazine educational system and finished as a mechanic in 1974. After using his skills as a mechanic

for a couple of years, Baah-Awuah left for Nigeria in search of another job. Even though Nigeria offered what he was seeking, it was never meant to be a permanent destination, and after 5 years abroad, Baah-Awuah returned to factory work in one of Kumasi’s few big industries. In the courtyard three cheerful men have now gathered around cigarette smoke and eager conversation. They are calling it a day by having a few shots of Akua’s home-made bitter. Strong liquor coloured and mellowed with mahogany bark. In the bar room the third bench have also been occupied. The coolness of the late afternoon tenderly seeps in through every crack of this wooden structure and it comforts and relaxes everyone present with its unspoken prediction of the approaching evening. Baah-Awuah returns from the back premises where Abrada had called out for him. As he stands in the small, low-ceilinged bar room again, his good-natured attitude melts perfectly together with the spots easy-going atmosphere. The voices of the surrounding customers sinks another level or simply stops as he slips back down unto the bench, fixes his dark eyes upon us and continues his story. 1988, Baah-Awuah has left the factory to earn his money behind the wheel of one of Kumasi’s thousands of taxis. His brother provided the vehicle, and Baah-Awuah himself made sure that the engine was running steadily. After a few years, he decides to turn the yellow taxi-sign off and

change his well known taxi to a larger vehicle. He gets a job, which he has kept ever since, as a driver at a private bus company, doing long distance rides from Kumasi to the upper east regions of Ghana. Twelve hours of driving each way. At his present age of fifty-three, the comfort of the soft driver’s seat and the less hectic highway traffic definitely suits him better than the thought of still being performing heavy mechanic work. As being one of the first who settled in this part of The Magazine, Baah-Awuah does not mind our request of changing the direction of our conversation into the subject of housing in the area. He has seen how the radical transformation from bush to business has changed the surroundings of his family’s home during the past 18 years, and he is aware of the insecure impasse of their own plot. At the time when the negotiations concerning the transfer of the allocation note from the chief of Tarkwa to Baah-Awuah fell into place, Akua and Baah-Awuah were living together in Tarkwa as a couple. Because Baah-Awuah did not origin from this particular area, it was, from a legal point of view, impossible for the chief of Tarkwa to hand over papers on property ownership directly to him. For this reason it was Akua, who was born and raised in Tarkwa, who stepped in and signed the agreement and became the actual owner of the 100x100 ft. plot in The Magazine, containing both the established bar and the about-tobe-finished house.

47

But ownership, in these terms, does not mean a hundred percent liberty of action, or the ability to choose individually what should happen to your particular demarcated site. There are different kinds of allocation notes, and the ones which are distributed by the Tarkwa chief are not similar to the ones with KMA’s stamp of approval. Regardless of several attempts from Baah-Awuah’s side to make the KMA face the facts and provide him with an approved document, he is consequently being met with lack of understanding. The plot which was offered by the Tarkwa chief, was intended to be used for residential purposes, but KMA will not recognize this. During the government of the National Democratic Congress (NDC, 1990-1998) it came to a collision of interests between the KMA and the chief of Tarkwa.

tance from the Tarkwa chief was strong enough to make the whole project fall. The Magazine covers an area of two hundred hectares and conditions for constructions are not alike all over the site. By announcing the decision, concerning the area east of the Nkradam stream, that no permanent sandcrete structures could be erected, the KMA tried some years ago to keep the development of The Magazine under a more strict control. Lack of governmental resources has however, more or less, watered down this decision and today the entire Magazine consist of a wide range of building typologies, offering all sorts of services and housing. When Akua and Baah-Awuah moved into their present house, the boundary of the workshop area and the impassable bush was running alongside the eastern walls of their home. By the use of machetes, the area of the sloping hill towards the stream was cleared away and a distance to the bush had been made. Not long after the work had been done, a group of settlers from the north eastern region of Ghana looked up Baah-Awuah to apply to establish their homes on the rough gravel slope. Without scepticism and because Akua felt more secure with someone staying close by at times when her husband was touring the roads, Baah-Awuah agreed to let them begin their work of piecing together little shacks for living. Over the years relatives to the established individuals and families of the same region, also has joined in on the land.

“They have never caused us any trouble”, BaahAwuah says, “and as long as it remains this way, we welcome their presence here.”
It is not a relationship of landlord and tenant, Baah-Awuah has to his northern neighbours. Once in a while he receives a little “drink money” but rent is not part of their mutual agreement. When it comes to the few sparepart dealers and other shops which are also located at Akua’s plot, the case is slightly different. A monthly rent of up to 10000 Cedis is mostly being collected for the commercial use of the land, but still no letter of agreement has ever been signed by Baah-Awuah, Akua or any of the shopkeepers. When Baah-Awuah’s oldest son finished his apprenticeship in The Magazine, he decided to extend his parents house and move in with his own wife and daughter. Along the way, three of BaahAwuah’s brothers, Akua’s son Oscar, and Abrada has also found their way to the house. Every single room offers space for someone to sleep in, even the storage room and the back premises of the exact same bar room which we are gathered in this evening. In some year’s time, the family house is supposed to be extended further. This will affect the people living on the slope and perhaps also the spare-part dealers and shopkeepers. He is continuously saving money to realise his dream; a large house almost reaching the banks of the stream.

“They wanted to put a road right here along the boundary”
says Baah-Awuah and points with a finger straight towards the concrete floor below us. The construction of the road was a part of a larger strategy intending permanently and in a more consequent way, to declare the area of zone 7 as an industrial site and must prohibit residential buildings. But the chief is the lawful owner of the land and though it probably could have been possible for the KMA to force their plans through, the statement of a chief can hardly be overruled. In this particular case, the resis-

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Speaking of the stream is the same as speaking of the dump, and Baah-Awuah believes that today’s frequency of residential settlements is the main cause of the present pollution problems. His prediction is that in twenty years time the entire area west of the stream will be classified as residential and commercial area and thus worsening the environmental conditions. Bad habits and lack of alternatives has caused this landscape of scattered cans, plastic containers and human faeces. The artisans, the inhabitants and the areas’ household animals are using the banks as a toilet. In 1969, Baah-Awuah recalls himself fishing and bathing in the stream, but today the greenish film that covers the water surface, and the permanent repulsive stench, automatically prevents this. Baah-Awuah obviously wishes for the environment to be better. His proposal for a solution is to built larger concrete gutters and forbid the dumping of refuse in the future.

field, which has been kept bare for to separate and secure the nearby houses from the stream and its tendency to overflow during hard rainfalls, indicates that a football match is taking place in the twilight.

“With the water running more fluently, the waste would easier be lead to the connecting streams of the region, for finally to be gathered at the Owabi waterworks, northwest of Kumasi city, he explains.”
Though the stream is not as attractive as it used to be, the area surrounding it is still very lively. The sounds from the plain, dusty

The back premises of the bar

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Tenii Akapenkum

Tenii Akapenkum

It is about four o’clock on a weekday morning and because it is April, the time for the final exams is getting closer, and Kofi Akapenkum have replaced his sound sleep with eager studies. In the light of a single glowing bulb, he has already been sitting for hours with his notebook and pen, concentrated and disciplined, wrapped in pitch-black darkness. This, his third year of upper secondary school, laps up most of the light hours of the day. As the sun starts to rise and evaporate the thin clouds which covers Kumasi like a torn grey blanket, Kofi turns off the light bulb and prepares for the city, as well as his family, to awake. The family naturally shares the facilities within their home, and at this time of the day, the small sandy courtyard which is the connecting heart among their separated, single rooms, is being passed on to Kofi’s mother, her two little daughters, Gladys and Esther, and the fireplace which is hidden inside a small wooden shelter, in case of sudden rainsqualls. Kofi and his two brothers, Thomas and Francis, who both study at the

junior secondary level, are leaving early to be in school at seven o’clock. The world of trade and repair, which is the foundation of The Magazine, has awakened and accompanies them on their way and it will be there with its deep, welcoming voice as they return again in the late afternoon.

of The Magazine also enjoys to rest, they leave their workshops closed and quiet, until the following morning. Tenii Akapenkum, Kofi’s mother, welcomes us as we arrive. She radiates such care and goodness, that there is no doubt in our minds, that she has been waiting and looking forward to see us on this, her only day off during the week, Sunday. It is past noon and this morning Tenii and her children have been attending church in Tarkwa. The women of the small settlement, which is separated from the low watered, thick flowing Nkradam stream by a twenty meter wide dusty plateau, are sitting on mats and stools in front of the first row of the little, wooden houses. In the shady covered entrance room of three of Kofi’s relatives, we rest on wooden benches. Through the tiny holes in the varying coverings, the overwhelming white-hot sky tries to reach us, but the holes are definitely too small for it to enter. Only pouring rain will slip through here, but it truly does not

The Courtyard

This is how Kofi’s weekdays begin. Sundays are different. For him and his brothers there is no school to attend, and because the artisans

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seem to be approaching. Perhaps in the evening, the wind will come blowing and place a yellow filter of sand from the plateau, across this little world of Tenii and Kofi and the rest of their relatives who also live by the stream. The inside of the entrance room is dark. Wooden boards and rusted sheet metal is the main ingredients of the construction. Behind a piece of clothes is the actual sleeping room of the boys who inhabit the building. A wall-to-wall bed and a television-set appear to be what fills the room. Electricity is available, but water needs to be purchased at the landlords out- door tap or simply by collecting rainwater. Tenii sits in the corner where two benches meet. She is listening carefully to her second born son who, because of his English skills from several years in school, is helping out with our mutual language difficulties. The two little daughters also manage to squeeze in on the benches. They to want to hear their mothers story of the times when they themselves were very young or, in Esther’s case, not even born, and what the reasons were for the family to leave their town of origin, Sandemar, where their oldest brother, Daniel, is still working with cultivating land as a farmer. Tenii starts speaking. Twenty four hours in north-eastern direction of Kumasi. That is the time it takes to reach Sandemar. The town is the capital of the Upper East region and what is more important to Tenii, is that it is the capital of the Builsa tribe and the

hometown of her and her relatives. There are many different tribes, or groups of people located within the Upper East region. Besides from the Builsas, the Frafra tribe, the Grusis and even the Asantes are represented there. The most common way to make it in Sandemar is by farming. Tenii and her husband Kojo, though, were farming like so many others. They were praying for rain at the right times, and wished in the end for a fertile harvest. This one time of year where they laid down all their efforts, the results of the struggle had to come out well. If not, another long time of idleness and poverty would be the reality. In 1993 the family left town. They dug their roots free of the familiar Sandomar soil and packed their belongings for to head south. The urge to work was basically their drive, and in the village of Odumasi, 150 kilometres south-west of Kumasi, they temporarily found what they were searching for. Odumasi lies in a forest area, in which the family established a house of wooden boards and branches. It was separated from the village, but close to the fields, where the farm work they had been offered was to be carried out. For two years they stayed in the woods, until reports from Tenii’s stepmother were saying that a single wooden building in Kumasi’s Magazine could be theirs. At that time the stepmother herself was living in the Magazine, and the building was one she had purchased, but did not use for the moment. Because the city of Kumasi meant

a wider range of work related opportunities, the family once again chose to move. Since they came to Kumasi, eleven years ago, his father, Kojo, have had several different jobs. At the moment the family hardly sees him. During daytime he cooks in the kitchen at the Wesley Children’s College and when the pots and pans have been cleaned and put back in the cupboards he usually takes the trotro to Ashtown for to roam the streets at night as a watchman. With a family of seven members to support, three of his sons attending school, and a monthly rent to pay, there is no other solution than to work this much to gather the necessary amount of money. Tenii contributes to the household economy by preparing and selling porridge. In the early morning she has a permanent stand where the side road from Offinso Road flattens out at “Japan House”. Hundreds of workers pass by on their way to the various workshops. In the afternoon she walks about in the eastern part of The Magazine. Balancing with the large metallic pot on her head, she is waiting for customers to buy a portion of the nutritious porridge. The promise that a room would be at the family’s disposition, lasted for two years time. Fortunately during this period, a comfortable relationship to the landlady had been established, and she freely suggested that the family put up their own house. The plot, on which they were told to build, is the same as they live on today. Its steep wavy surface, from the landlady’s house to the

51

plateau, was obviously a challenge to construct upon, and Kojo had to seek assistance within The Magazine for help to put the floor in level. After five years gathered in the single 10 square meters room and with a family extension of both Esther and Gladys, Kofi’s uncle constructed an additional room, for Kofi and his brothers. Since that time the settlement counting only Kofi’s relatives, has grown to become an enclave of seven inhabited buildings, an unused shack and a shelter for their common fireplace. There are 25 houses for living on the landlady’s entire plot. These buildings all together house seventy individuals, who have come to Kumasi like Tenii and Kojo, in hope

for better working conditions. The builsas here are a minority. Most of the settlers are from the frafra tribe. They all origin from the same upper east region and though they seldom speak with each other, they have no difficulties with living this close to one another. What makes Tenii’s eyes loose a little of their glow, is the thought of the enclosing dangers caused by the industry of the Magazine. She sometimes fears that the electric machinery, the tools and the industrial waste, should undeservedly injure her daughters as they run around playing. On days like today though, and on weekdays after dark, Tenii’s mind is not occupied with worries like this, and she enjoys to live with her family on the

slope. None of them feels insecure during either day or night, and they have never been victims of any harassment. If they should ever get the opportunity to move away again, it would be up to Kojo to decide the destination. Tenii herself wishes to stay in Kumasi, and very much in a sandcrete building. Together they have plans of trying to save money for renting a room, but as long as their children are schooling, moving away does not have the highest priority.

The Builsa tribe

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Residential Density

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Division of the total amount of people in the various areas

In order to be able to number the people living in The Magazine, we have drawn a Residential Density Map. The Map is based on registrations of the building typologies and structures within the different areas. Combined with quantitative surveys conducted in zone 5 and zone 7, we are able to estimate the residential density within the different areas of The Magazine. Almost the entire New Site, part of zone 7, and zone 19 consist of workshops and spare-part dealers. Very few are living in this area except for the watchmen guarding it. The area covers 92 ha and has a density of 0-10 persons per ha. This means that 460 (92x5) people are living within these zones. In the World Bank area the majority of the inhabitants live in sandcrete buildings with spare-part

shops at the ground floor and accommodation on top. The area covers 50 ha and according to the survey of Area A there is a residential density of 10-100 persons per ha. Altogether 2500 (50x50) persons are living here. While making the survey in zone 7, we discovered a lot of people from the northern part of Ghana are living along the streams of The Magazine. In Area B, more than 60 people live in shacks. Accumulated along the streams density is 100200 persons per ha. These areas cover of a total of 23 ha. This means that 3450 (23x150) persons are living along the streams of The Magazine. The plots along Offinso Road and part of zone 7 and 2 contain large residential buildings inhabiting between 15 and more than

100 persons each. Altogether the areas have a residential density of 200-300 persons per ha. The area is 22 ha which means that 5500 (22x250) persons are living here. Altogether, 12000 persons (460+2 500+3450+5500=11910) live within the entire Magazine on an area covering 187 ha (92 ha+50 ha+23 ha+22 ha). The highest density is along Offinso Road, within zone 7 and 2, and along the streams of The Magazine. The mixed use plots along Offinso Road cover an area of 10 ha and inhabit 2500 (10x250) persons. This calculation shows that 21% of the people living in The Magazine are living on plots legally parcelled out for residential use by the KMA.

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Discussion
In the introduction the concept of living in a non-residential area like The Magazine is touched upon. How does life reveal itself in such a scenery? Who lives here? What are the benefits of residing in such surroundings? What are the consequences? How and why do people live under these conditions? Being acquainted with this area and its inhabitants we find that people are living in The Magazine for various reasons and under very different circumstances. Fundamentally the basic need is a place to sleep. Obvious to everyone it is preferable if this takes place under secure and comfortable conditions. Do people live here out of need, or are there indications that The Magazine is in such a state that people choose to live here? The 200 ha area holds a large variety of different income groups, in addition to this many different ways of residing can be found in The Magazine. A small majority of the residents live in areas laid out by the KMA as light-industrial, not planned for housing. The area holds people who live here out of need as well as people who have chosen to live here. There is a vast difference between rich and poor clearly seen in the living conditions and form of housing. We have tried to understand the various motives for residing in The Magazine. Acquiring land in Kumasi is not easy unless you have some sort of relation to a local area. In the northern part of the Old Site the land is still managed by the Tarkwa chief. He sells the plots for residential purposes and though KMA is not approving this, it gives the plot owner some sort of security of the land. Many of the poorer residents in this part of The Magazine have settled on the land by request from the individual plot owners. This makes the area lively and safe outside working hours. They appreciate how the area becomes peaceful after work hours. Other people move to The Magazine out of desperate need of a place to live. Those who live along the streams live on swamped ground and in areas that becomes flooded during the rainy season. The environment along the polluted stream is most certainly not suited for habitation. Many of the inhabitants who settled along the streams are farmers who moved from poverty in the Northern regions to seek possibilities of employment in Kumasi. Others are immigrants from the neighboring countries; Mali and Burkina Faso. Many of them speak French as the only language apart from their native tongue and have been reluctant or difficult to approach in our research. They live in wooden temporary buildings similar to the once found in other unplanned settlements around Kumasi. Many of these inhabitants have to contend with poisonous fumes, smoke, and noise during work hours and live their entire life surrounded by toxic refuse and temporarily flooding. It is obvious that the fundamental need for a secure and comfortable place to sleep is not being fulfilled for those living along the streams. The circumstances under which they live are similar to many other settlements around Kumasi, they live with insecurity in terms of flooding and evicting. The insecurity generates a lack of motivation amongst the residents for upgrading their living conditions. Studies of aerial photographs indicate that it was not until The Magazine had reached its limitations for expansion, that the land on the plain was consumed by Magazine activities. The area close to the streams can not be used for workshops because of the swamped ground and the lack of infrastructure; one might suspect that it is because the land can not be used for workshops the inhabitants along the streams are being ignored but it might also be because GNAG do not have the authority to move the settlements. The settlers seem to fear eviction in case the government becomes aware of their existents. Workshops are being pushed out from The Magazine because businessmen buy plots and construct buildings containing spare-part shops and other commercial activities more profitable than car-repair. The main problem is that the artisans do not own their own plots but are only renting them from individual plot owners. This has created a situation where many of the workshop owners are worried that prosperous spare-part dealers will acquirer their plots and turn the place into a non-workshop area. Many workshops owners fear being evicted especially because there is no available land within The Magazine for settling a new workshop. Artisans are unwilling to upgrade there enterprises, which could become a problem because electronically controlled

54

cars has caused a growing need for more modernized and specialized workshops. One might fear that this could destroy the renown of The Magazine as West Africa’s largest light-industrial cluster for car repair. Spare-part dealers depend on the workshops to buy their items, which means that if all the workshops are pushed out of The Magazine, the spare-dealers will necessarily follow. One of the consequences of the many spare-part dealers has been a new way of living in The Magazine. Especially in the Old Site, families are living privately on top of spare-part dealers in mixed use buildings. These families live on plots laid out for light-industrial use and live under the conditions of the surrounding businesses. The residents have the advantages that the area becomes quiet outside of working hours in addition to the fact that the area has been upgraded as a part of a World Bank project. The tendency of the mixed use buildings started after the improved infrastructure. Our fascination and bewilderment of The Magazine is not only due to the fact that there are people having a daily life in an industrial area, it is more the scarce boundaries that makes daily life activities blend with the industrial activities. At times it becomes challenging to comprehend the livelihood for those living next to polluting and noisy workshops. In the southern part of The Magazine there are several places were the environmental conditions are maliciously hideous. People are living in poisonous waste from households as well as from the surrounding industrial activities. The conditions under which these industrial activities take place appears so treacherous that it becomes challenging for many of the residents to stay close to their home without paying extreme alertness to the danger-

ous trades taking place around their home. We have been in The Magazine for 2 ½ month and have noticed advantages as well as disadvantages for living in such a noisy polluted light-industrial area. In our search we got adjusted to the surroundings and what appears incomprehensive today might appear customary tomorrow. When talking about the advantages of having a mixed light-industrial and residential areas it becomes important to take the specific case in consideration, otherwise the discussion becomes meaningless. The Magazine today contains both functional as well as “dysfunctional areas” where the light-industrial

activities exist on the expense of the residents. The term “functional areas” should be understood as an area where daily life activities co-exist side by side with light-industrial activities. Those who live in the “functional areas” are typically those who have means and have chosen to do so, while those who live in the “dysfunctional areas” seem to do so because of lack of options. We have been fascinated by the liveliness of this vibrant and dynamic place and impressed by the unique surroundings as well as the optimism shown by the inhabitants in spite of the sometimes miserable circumstances.

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Conclusion
Our studies estimate that 12,000 people live in The Suame Magazine today. We have tried to answer the question of how and why they live here. Our studies suggest the following answers to these questions. People have been living on the mixed u sed plots from the beginning of The Magazine’s present location. In the Old Site along Offinso Road there have been plots laid out for mixed-use functions since 1971. The plots hold large sandcrete commercial buildings and residential buildings approved by the KMA. Some of the people living in these houses were born and raised here, this is their family home. Many of these residents live as tenants. Within The Magazine an increasing number of larger sandcrete storey buildings, containing spare-part shops on the ground floors and accommodation on top, have begun to overtake the workshops. The tendency of constructing additional floor started in the mid-eighties and due to World Bank funding, the infrastructure of some areas of The Magazine have been upgraded to an extent where people find them suitable for permanent residing. Detached family houses, for residential use only, are also found in The Magazine. These buildings are up till 20 years old and are often still housed by the original owners. Many of these residents mention the quietness outside work-hours as one of the advantages of living in The Magazine. People from the northern part of Ghana live in small shacks mainly along the streams. These people do not have control over the land they occupy. The land they live on is swamped during rainy seasons and therefore not suitable for workshops. The majority of these residents come to Kumasi in order to find work. Most live in relatively isolated ebclaves where they can speak there own language (French, Fra Fra, Builsa etc.). Housing in The Magazine was not part of the original plan. Nevertheless, this has been developing since the beginning of the present location. At the moment people living in The Magazine has little or none influence on the area they inhabit. From our studies we conclude that an increased habitation of The Magazine will take place. The influence and demands of the inhabitants will affect the present site and play a significant role for the future Magazine.

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Postscript
20 cold soft drinks on the table are slowly getting warmer. At ITTU’s classroom, in the heart of The Magazine, we are waiting for our guests to arrive to participate in a discussion concerning the present and the future Magazine. We have called this meeting to receive comments and visions from the stakeholders, based upon the results we have come up with during the last 2 1/2 months of study.

“The problems here are so enormous, I even feel ashamed to call myself a planner”,
he says, explaining that the last time he visited The Magazine was 6 years ago when working on a plan for New Site, which failed to be carried out. He seems to have given up on the present Magazine because of lack of planning.

present location. Chapman believes that The Magazine faces a decentralisation and his statement that a plan not necessarily lasts forever, leads to a discussion of whether The Magazine, or part of it, could be moved to a new location outside the city. The security of being an owner or a tenant on governmental sponsored, facilitated land, and common rules for the workshop owners

Governmental authorities, organisational representatives, workshop masters, spare-part dealers, and inhabitants are invited, but as minutes pass, the pool of condensed water around the drinks grow larger, as we are waiting for the participants. Half an hour later, our impatience has turned to contentment. Present are Mr. Poku and Mr. Chapman from the Town and Country planning Department, Josef Asante and Baah-Awuah Atauene representing the inhabitants, Krossman Hormenoo from the ITTU and Yaw Prepah as both workshop master and representative for the garages organisation GNAG. They listen to our short presentation of The Magazine as it appears from our point of view. Mr. Poku is used to talking, and eagerly comments on our results.

“People are not static”,
Poku’s colleague Chapman adds. He elaborates briefly on the present Magazine and its activities which he does not consider compatible with a city like Kumasi at its

and spare-part dealers, is what Yaw Prepah asks for if he is to be moved to a new location. He does not disagree with Mr. Poku that the present chaotic Magazine makes it hard to develop better conditions for the artisans. The businessmen behind the large scale buildings

I.T.T.U.

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who threatens the workshops today, are not sympathetic towards the artisans. Krossman Hormenoo has had enough of the talk. He raises his voice and confronts Poku with his point of view: that The Magazine originally was planned for workshop activity and now both sparepart dealers and accommodation take up space which could be used for the educated apprentices to establish their own workshops.

the outcome of the meeting. Mr. Poku and Yaw Prepah are standing on the gallery facing the courtyard of the ITTU. They are exchanging phone numbers, to hold another meeting. Krossman is being called to the room next door. It is Tuesday and there are other issues on today’s program. Our expectations towards today’s meeting have very much been fulfilled and we are pleased that the interest in our studies are so genuine. As we bike along the gravel roads towards Old Tafo, we come upon a man whom we have met at the GNAG office some weeks ago. He tells us that while we have held our meeting, a group of artisans have been rioting in the main street running past the GNAG office. The police have been involved and even a few people were arrested. The reason for the riot was a road upgrading, forcing the mechanics away from the roadside. No workshops were removed and no arti-

sans were made unemployed. Yet such a relatively small intervention from governmental side leads to physical collisions and commotion among the workers. The problems we have been discussing earlier this afternoon, are becoming real and put into relief just outside the window. Kumi Koduah, secretary of the GNAG, shakes his head as we the following day meet him to get the full version of yesterdays events.

“Mr. Planner, what are you going to do about that?”
he says.Mr. Hormenoo is a man of professional pride and does not seem satisfied with Mr. Poku’s lack of response, but this is a meeting where everyone should be heard which is why we change the discussion into the subject of inhabitation. Baah-Awuah and Josef sit next to each other by the windows. None of them express any particular problems of living in The Magazine. Baah-Awuah explains that he himself leaves in the morning when the artisans begin their work, and returns in the late afternoon as the workshops close down. Like this he naturally avoids the nuisance which the workshops may cause to the inhabitants. Josef does not say much because he is nervous about the situation. The atmosphere in the first-floor classroom is progressive but yet friendly. After a couple of hours and a few conceptual proposals on the white-board, everybody leaves with exited minds and happy with

“We have no problems here”,
he says, in a way which does not ask for more questions. The roadside appears desolated. Something that used to be here has obviously gone away. Gradually, The Magazine is changing.

Upgrading of the road

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Notes
Aerial Photos The aerial photos used in this rapport are blurred because of the poor quality of the original photos Banku Local dish prepared from mashed maize and casava Blade Runner Science Fiction Film by Ridley Scott, 1982 Cedi The local monetary standard (1 USD correspond to 9000 cedis in the year 2006) Chief Head of local Royal Family Chop bar Place to eat local hot dishes Drink money Monetary gesture Fufu Local dish made by pounding boiled plantains and cassava GNAG Ghana National Association of Garages Groundrent The local tax on real property ITTU The Suame Intermediate Technology Transfer Unit, Kwame NkrumahUniversity of Science and Technology Kenke Local dish prepared from fermented corn dough rolled in dry leafs KMA Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly Light Industry Manufacture of small and lightweight articles; manufacture of articles that use moderate amount of partially processed materials to produce articles of relatively high value per unit-weight (Websters New Millenium Dictionary of English) Mixed use To hold both residential and commercial functions Obroni White man in Ashanti language Twi Residential buildings Building used solely for housing Sandcrete Ghanaian manufactured building blocks. Stool Lands Land belonging to the local chief Straighter Artisan who straightens car body parts Temporary materials Wooden boards, Tarpaulins, corrugated iron sheets, various scraps Town and Country Planning Department in Kumasi Governmental planning authorities Tro-Tro Public transport, minibus UTM coordinates Universal Transverse Mercator Geographic Coordinate System Vulcanizing Hardening materials

References
Obeng: Kumasi Suame Magazine, a background paper, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science & Technology, Kumasi-Ghana, September 2002, George Yaw Adeya: Sources of Training in African Clusters and Awareness of ICTs: A Study of Kenya and Ghana, Intech, September 2003, Catherine Nyaki

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Programme
The Suame1 Magazine in Kumasi, Ghana is one of Africa’s largest light-industrial clusters. It is an area of 200 ha with auto-mechanical workshops discharging industrial waste in an uncontrolled manner. The noise and dust is immense. We were told beforehand that it was an industrial site only, but a walk through the area reveals that people are living here. Clothes are hanging out to dry, children are playing, and women are cooking. Our studies estimate that 12,000 people live in The Magazine today. The area today is mainly a place for vehicle repairs and spare-part dealers including various artisans, welders and vulcanizers. The Magazine is filled with food stalls, kiosks, bars and street vendors selling anything from watches to fruit and water. In parts with high concentration of habitation, commercial facilities such as hairdressers, tailors, and music-stores appear. Even churches, mosques, schools, a fitness gym, a bank, a hotel and a health clinic can be found within The Magazine. The Magazine is located close to the centre of Kumasi on the sloping area east of the main road towards northern Ghana. The Nkradam stream running through the area separates the land of the different chiefs and divides the area into a New and Old Site. It is not possible to cross the stream by car but pedestrians can cross it several places on small bridges constructed of old car body parts and wooden boards. The sloping area west of the stream and east of Offinso Road is known as the Old Site. The area was planned in 1971 by the Town and Country Planning Department. It is an area of 50 ha consisting of 47 mixed use plots of around 900 square metres each, and 783 light-industrial plots varying from 140 square metres to 1200 square metres. This Old Site has received remedies from a World Bank project in 1996. The purpose of the project was to upgrade roads, roadside drains; street lightning, water supply, public toilets as well as disposal sites. The New Site consists of two different road structures. One is a 20 ha area parcelled out as a grid with

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funding from the World Bank. It is located below the cemetery next to Mampong Road and consists of 208 plots of 500 square metres each. The plots are well demarcated and the roads are easily accessible. The other part of the New Site, an area covering 100 ha does not have demarcated plots and the infrastructure is poor. The workshops have stretched into the former bush area between the streams, not following an overall plan. A plan from 1997 exists, but has never been neither finished nor implemented due to lack of funding and because of internal land disputes. Not all workshops can be accessed by car, and they are often blocked by workshops expanding their workspace onto the roads. Several workshops in this area are dealing with large vehicles and the crossroads have developed according to the turning circle of big trucks. There is a lack of draining in the New Site. The flat swamped grounds near the streams flood during heavy rainfall. The mechanics dump toxic chemicals, oil, as well as human waste and refuse into the stream, which is a threat to human health. The roads are eroded and battered due to rainfalls and heavy often overloaded vehicles. Drains have been constructed in some places, but are insufficient. The streets are filled with large holes and at times maliciously uneven surfaces.

Building Typologies
The residential shacks are wooden and corrugated iron buildings, concentrated mostly along the streams. The buildings seem temporary but many of them have been there for years. Some have concrete floors, but no windows, water or sanitation. The shacks are 8-10 square metres and often built in clusters. In each room sleeps one family or two to three persons. It is often tribes from the northern part of Ghana who resides in these shacks. The site where these clusters are located is swamped during rainy seasons and not suitable for workshops. The land is thus free and available for housing. The residential buildings are larger permanent constructions built in stone and concrete with corrugated iron roofs. They can be as big as 300 square metres in ground plan and up to three storeys high. Usually, they are houses built 40 years ago on the mixed use plots along Offinso Road when the first plan for The Magazine was made by the Town and Country Planning Department. Our survey suggests that these buildings accommodate 15 to 50 persons. The rooms are usually for rent but some hold extended families. Other residential buildings are onestorey detached houses built within the last 25 years by single families. Usually, they house 10 persons, but in case of additional extensions up to 60 persons may be accommodated in such buildings. Most of these buildings are located on the northern part of the old site.

The commercial wooden shacks and metal containers are 5-15 square metres and either holds workshops, spare-part dealers, or other commercial activities as for instance kiosks.2 In case of workshops, the shacks are used as storage for tools and other work related articles. The place of work is next to the shack, and the workshop occupies an area 10 times as big as the shack itself. In these workshops 3-10 persons work. The spare-part shacks and containers use the frontage as a display, which mean that they occupy an area at least twice their size. Because it is only for sale activity few (1-5) persons are employed in these stores. Other commercial activities carry out their sale or work within the shacks such as chopbars and barbering shops. Only 1-3 persons work in these places. The commercial storey buildings are large permanent concrete structures with a ground plan of up to 300 square metres. They are one to two storeys high and contain mostly spare-part dealers or some stores selling items not related to car-repairing. Some buildings can hold 16 stores with altogether 30-40 employees. The mixed use storey buildings are of the same type as the commercial storey buildings. However, instead of two storeys of shops, there are shops on the ground floor and accommodation on the first floor. Sometimes the owner of the building lives with his family on the first floor, and sometimes he lives elsewhere and the first floor

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The corrugated iron containers are produced within the magazine and sold in the entire Ashanti region as kiosks

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is for rent. In the Old Site these buildings have water and sanitation. The mixed use buildings are situated on light-industrial plots which is not according to the plan laid out by the KMA .3 The upgrading of the infrastructure in 1996 has facilitated the development of the mixed use buildings.

Programme
One of the problems for the workshops within The Magazine is the increasing number of permanent commercial buildings taking up more and more plots. Businessmen buy plots and construct buildings containing spare-part shops and other commercial activities more profitable than car-repair. If this development continues the workshops might be pushed out from The Magazine. The main problem is that the workshop owners do not own their own plots but are renting them. Still, the spare-part dealers depend on the workshops to buy their items. If the workshops are pushed out of The Magazine, the spare-dealers most likely will follow. In recent years new computerized electronic controlled cars are in Ghana. These vehicles require modern machinery and knowledge to maintain. This know-how and equipment is not found within The Magazine today. When these vehicles begin to overtake the fleet of cars, the workshops will be forced to upgrade the skills of the workforce. This might cause large modern specialised workshops to arise in the future.

The people living in The Magazine make up a small part of the total amount of people found in the area during the day. However, if the number of inhabitants increases they might gain influence within the area instead of living on the conditions of a light-industrial zone. In The Magazine there seems to emerge a trend of leaving the extended family in favour of the privacy of the first floor apartments. In the suburbs of Kumasi this trend can also be found. Nuclear family houses with gardens and fences are being built. However, studies indicate that these houses often are occupied by extended families.4 In case of The Magazine, the development is different. The first floor apartments here are often occupied by nuclear families. Being close to each other and close to commercial activity also result in a very active space within the neighbourhood well in line with the spirit of the social Ghanaian way of life. In Kumasi there is a huge lack of housing. The Magazine is a large area close to the city centre, which might suggest further habitation. When making zone-planning, commercial, industrial, and residential zones are usually kept apart causing the commercial and the industrial zones to be empty during night time and the residential zones to be empty during daytime. By combining the various activities into a mixed use zone the full potential of the location of The Magazine can be exploited for the benefit of all parts. The main focus of this study is to make a written and drawn proposal for The Magazine at the present location in the future.

There is a growing number of apprentices eventually becoming masters and there is a growing demand for land. A suggestion has been made of relocating the entire Magazine to a new site out of Kumasi. The proposal does not consider this option. A new plan for the present area shall meet further expansion of both industry and habitation How can the workshops, the spare-part dealers, and the inhabitants coexist within The Magazine? The proposal will be based on the present building typologies and structures adjusted to the anticipated development. The proposal will take it for granted that the immense soil pollution problems have been taken care of, and that the land ownership issue is settled leaving KMA in control of the area. At the moment different chiefs and plot owners control the land. These stakeholders have different interests and are not working together with a common objective. Because of this it is not possible for the KMA to elaborate a general plan for the area that realistically will be implemented. The proposal is intended as a vision for the KMA when planning the future area of the present Magazine. The proposal will also elaborate guidelines under which the development may be facilitated.

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3 Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly Studies conducted in Gyenyasi, Kumasi by students from The Royal Danish Academy Of Fine Arts, School of Architecture 2006

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The Magazine 2025
According to the program this proposal operates with the implementing of more housing facilities in The Magazine. In connection with the suggestion, a plan of distribution of the various work areas as well as the areas for housing, will be presented. This plan is made as a dividing of square metres for each of the functions, not taking the number of persons who occupy open space or work space into consideration. By dividing The Magazine into 4 main zones we will illustrate how some of the present building typologies of the area could remain, and how we, by using our knowledge of these different buildings could create new building typologies evolved according to the present development of The Magazine. The new building typologies will be structured and organised in a way to establish a united, efficient Magazine, both securing the future of the workshops and the sparepart dealers as well as caring for the living conditions for the increasing number of inhabitants in The Magazine. Our general basis in this suggestion is to use the findings and experiences we have achieved during field work. In this way our solutions will both relate to the reality which we have described in our report and lower the costs of suggested changes by focusing on what is already present in The Magazine.

Spare-part Dealers – Housing Zone
The organisation of the spare-part dealer shops primarily depend on the infrastructure. Today along Offinso Road it shows that spare-part dealing is a trade which survives by being visible and accessible for potential customers passing by. Our plan suggests that plots for spare-part dealing/housing are always located along the large main

roads. The plot sizes are similar to the present ones along Offinso Road in order to make it possible to establish the u-shape structures. Furthermore we imagine that at least 50 percent of the entire build area will be constructed for first floor habitation. This suggestion is made in order to secure the increase of residential buildings. According to plot sizes and location on the specific site, the

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The U-shape

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diversity of the united building is intended to vary and create a versatile street environment. 20% or 38 hectare of the entire Magazine area is planned as spare-part - housing area.

Workshops Housing Zone
As with the spare-part dealers/ housing zones, the workshops/ housing zones are planned to consist of both workshop related buildings and housing facilities. On these plots we imagine that the distribution of buildings for workshop and housing is similar to the spare-part/housing zones. The workshops of The Magazine - 2025 will be divided into two main categories; the ones which are compatible with habitation and the ones which are not. The plots planned for workshop/housing combine workshop activity with accommodation in one building. Only in very small amounts does the present Magazine combine the workshop function with habitation. Yet this is how we suggest that the best integration of housing within The Magazine could be carried out. Neither the workshops nor the apartments need to be located close to the main roads as long as the secondary or tertiary roads are maintained at a certain standard. Larger areas are therefore suitable for this combined building typology. Because Magazine activity in 2025 have changed from physically to more technologically orientated work, it is reasonable to suggest this development. Mechanical

work in our part of the world today move towards less noisy and toxic working conditions for the artisans. Because the cars in Ghana are imported from western or Asian countries, we believe that the skills and ways of repairing will follow the vehicles and influence the mechanic industry of The Magazine. By taking both the workshop and housing functions into consideration, a beneficial environment for the artisans and the habitants is possible to establish. 46% or 88 hectare of the entire Magazine area is planned as workshop - housing area.

To the west and north, the area share boundaries with the flooded area along the streams. To the south it is demarcated by one of the main roads of The Magazine where a buffer of trees along the road towards the industrial core could be established. To the east along New Road, the industrial core share boundaries with the back of the spare-part/housing plots located there. 15% or 29 hectare of the entire Magazine area is planned for heavy industry.

Solely Workshops Industrial Core Zone
The noise or toxic trades of the present Magazine will not be gone in the year 2025. Truck extension and repair, spraying and straightening of vehicles are still part of The Magazine, even in the future. To create reasonable conditions for both the artisans and the increased amount of inhabitants, we propose to gather the category of polluting trades in one particularly demarcated zone. We have planned this zone where the largest amount of these particular trades is presently being carried out, and the area will basically appear as it does today. A mitigating solution to this industrial core might be to try to organise the different artisans within the zone in a way where the mutual nuisances is reduced in the best possible way. The topography and will be used in the detailed planning of the zone.

Small Scale Residential Zone
Today a large number of immigrants and newcomers from abroad and northern Ghana live along the streams of The Magazine. Their housing conditions separate them from the rest of The Magazine because the banks along the stream both serve as dump for refuse and human waste. We do not accept these conditions as suitable for human inhabitation. By scattering small scale residential units with plot sizes matching the needs of the families whom we have registered in the present Magazine, we improve the housing conditions also for the lowest income groups. Small scale residential units are planned in detached areas and consist of overall plots of one hectare divided into small individual plots of 8x12 metres. 5% or 10 hectare of the entire Magazine area is planned for small scale residential units.

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The Magazine 2025

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Infrastructure
We consider the primary roads of The Magazine to be the ones sharing boundaries with the surrounding society; Mampong Road to the west, New Road to the north and Offinso Road to the east. Mampong Road and Offinso Road collide at Suame Roundabout south of The Magazine. To avoid establishing an infrastructure which makes The Magazine a short-cut area, our plan suggests only secondary and tertiary roads within the boundaries of these primary roads. Practically this makes the internal traffic run slow and hereby suggesting persons who has no business to do in The Magazine, to use the main roads instead. Our planning of infrastructure has its point of departure in the present conditions for both pedestrians and motorised vehicles moving around within the area. By extending and connecting present roads we have tied The Magazine together and by avoiding to add too many new access roads from the primary roads, we have tried to maintain one of the elements that makes today’s Magazine’s infrastructure obliging, the human scale.

present road entering the area south of Old Tafo cemetery. We suggest extending this road and connecting it to the infrastructure which services the industrial core of The Magazine. The two others are likewise at extended roads on each side of The Freeman Centre which is a religious institution, but these two lead to Old Site where one road connects to the infrastructure of the workshop - habitation area, and the other runs along the flooded area of the stream and connects to New Road.

- habitation plots and small scale residential units. Another two access roads are planned. The first one leads behind the spare-part - habitation plots along New Road, through an area of workshop – habitation plots and of small scale residential units. This road exits to New Road shortly after the substation. The other access road is a side road dividing the spare-part - habitation area and separates the workshop - habitation area from the small scale residential units. The final access road from New Road to The Magazine is the same which enters in the south next to the Freeman Centre at Mampong Road.

New Road
From New Road we have planned nine access roads to The Magazine. Coming from the junction at Mampong Road the first leads through the area sharing boundary with the north-western side of Old Tafo cemetery. The road runs across the culverted stream and ends up in Old Site. The next two access roads primarily service and demarcate the industrial core of The Magazine. These roads are planned to shape a circle for easier manoeuvring of trucks and other large scale vehicles. One road separates the workshop - habitation area from the heavy industry and continues to Old Site, the other runs in the periphery of the industry along the boundaries of the exposed streams. Within the main circle formation is planned several minor roads servicing the various artisans. These first three access roads from New Road to The Magazine also offer access to the Magazine area east of New Road which consist of both spare-part/workshops

Offinso Road
Our plan suggests maintaining the present infrastructure from Offinso Road into The Magazine. This means that there is access for motorised vehicles eight different places along Offinso Road. Most of these access roads connect to the north - south running road between New Road and Mampong Road. The rest of the access roads connect to the local infrastructure of Old Site. The road network which we have laid out is planned to follow the contour lines of the sloping landscape.

Mampong Road
The fact that there presently are Magazine related activities on both sides of New Road, and especially the first 700 - 800 metres coming from Mampong road, makes New Road an access road to The Magazine in itself. Besides from this there are three alternative possibilities to enter The Magazine from Mampong Road. One is the

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The Courtyard
The change in building typologies from today to The Magazine 2025, is the introduction of the combined workshop - habitation building. All other typologies already exist in some form in the present Magazine, but not in the reorganised and restructured way that we suggest. The idea of combining workshop with habitation evolved from the present development of combining spare-part dealing with habitation. Because the two trades have individual needs according to their businesses, we suggest that the size and location of the building on the plot is being decided by the individual artisan or shopkeeper. Spare-part dealers might often need a varying amount of square metres for displaying their articles in front of the building, while the workshops will gather in physically demarcated garages with less use of outdoor space. The combined workshop/sparepart - habitation building offers three typologies of residential courtyard environments, depending on the organisation of the buildings. • Passage courtyard • The first floor/rooftop courtyard • Private courtyard

Housing first floor - shared facilities on each floor

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Housing first floor - Private flats with access from the courtyard

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The Passage Courtyard
The basis for the idea of the passage courtyard is to develop a street-like environment in the space between the buildings from where the entrances of the residential parts of the buildings

Workspace - Spare-part dealers

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Workspace - Workshops

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are located. Contrary to the outer industrial environment where the workshops and spare-part dealers are located, the environment in the passage courtyard offers space for playing, petty-trading and general

daily life activities. To establish this type of courtyard takes two rows of buildings connected across the plots in a minimum of 100 metres. A blocking building in each end of the”street”

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makes access for vehicles impossible and by establishing openings for pedestrians diagonally, a public passage through the semi-private courtyard is made. The openings are placed diagonally to create alternative accesses through the area, from street to street and circulation in the flow of people. The width of the “street” is varying from 7 - 10 metres. By displacing the buildings from each other, kiosks or stand’s are offered wastespace from where they can do their business, and furthermore the streetscape will appear less strict. The displacement appears naturally according to the trades carried out on the ground floor level. A large workshop occupies more building mass than a small sparepart shop which on the other hand requires open space for displaying the articles. The variation in these conditions are individual, but the location of permanent buildings on the plot will, never-the-less, affect the space facing the inner courtyard, and contribute to its physical appearance. In our proposal concerning the passage courtyard, we work with building depths of 8 and 15 metres and a common plot size of 25x50 metres. Because the workshops and spare-part dealers on the mixeduse plots are reserved the groundfloor level for their trading on the outside of the building, all habitation is placed on the first, second or third floor. There is a visual connection to the outside Magazine from the apartments’ galleries or rooftop terraces, but the physical connection to the surroundings always directs towards the inner “street”. All habitants are supposed to have access to both the public passage courtyard and private galleries, or rooftop terraces.

The Private Courtyard
The blocking building in the end of the passage courtyard occurs in two ways with two different purposes. Both buildings are planned to end the continuous passage of the courtyard, but the way they are placed on the plots, vary from each other and affects the surroundings differently. Both kinds of buildings remain accessible for the habitants through the end of the passage courtyard, which is the area we name the private courtyard, but because the first typology is placed lengthwise the rectangular plot it leaves an open space around itself, most likely in connection with a passing road. The second typology stretches across the plot from boundary to boundary, and blocks for any passage. It separates the plot into two and has no backside. Depending on the building’s depth, the plot is also here offering lots of open space. The first typology’s entrance to the residential floors is centred in the building and the environment of the private courtyard located behind is therefore at the inhabitant’s disposition. The same situation occurs where the second typology is being used. In this case though, entrance to the residential floors happen via the staircase at the end of the house. By placing a single building on a plot, compositions which do not shape demarcated courtyards occur. This causes a difference between these plots and the ones planned for the passage courtyard or private courtyards where the combination of two or three buildings leave a void. A lot of usable space is available on these particular single building plots depending on the size of the building. The question whether the remain-

ing space should be kept as open space or used in a way serving the interest of the artisans, sparepart dealers or inhabitants is to be answered by the plot owner. Because there are three buildings of 1 to 3 floors of residential area sharing the courtyard environment of the private courtyard, there is a pressure on the facilities. For this reason we suggest to make an effort on constructing first floor/ rooftop courtyards particularly in the blocking buildings. The first floor/rooftop courtyards serve as areas where some of the family doings, traditionally taking place on the ground level, could be carried out lifted above street level, closer to the apartments. From both east (Offinso Road) and west (Mampong Road) the topography of The Magazine slopes down towards the stream. Where we have planned for workshop/ spare-part - habitation buildings, the sloping ground can be used as a benefit to the courtyard environment of the inhabitants. The location of the building on the hillside can reduce the height of the entrance to the habitation floors and make the courtyard appear less closed and corridor-like.

Access to the courtyard

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1st floor outdoor space and the advantages of the sloping ground

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The courtyard on different plots

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The courtyard

The courtyard

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Smale Scale Residential Units
The zone for the low-income group of the population, who inhabit The Magazine in 2025, is planned based on our findings during fieldwork in today’s Magazine. Our plan’s main intention concerning this income group is to relocate the present habitants away from the health damaging dump and the returning risk of flooding along the stream. Our suggestion takes into account that The Magazine might be inhabited by more people belonging to the low-income group in the future. By culverting the stream from where it enters The Magazine in the south at Mampong Road, to the end of the grid structure of New Site - World Bank area, the stream as a separating element is removed and New and Old Site is connected. Furthermore development space for both workshop/ spare-part - habitation plots and small scale residential units are established on the former riverbed. The units are meant to be scattered “societies” of approximately one hectare containing approximately one hundred 8x12 metre plots. These units are located 8 to 9 places across The Magazine. The units’ locations are planned to develop independent environments and avoid slum clusters. The fact that the units are integrated among workshop/spare-part - habitation plots also reduces the risk of this development. In general it is intended to place the small scale residential units on land which for instance is planted with trees and/or which is relatively even. The trees will form spaces for assembling among the inhabitants while splitting the overall building structure in a natural way. The decision to choose even sites for the units evolves from statements from today’s inhabitants along the stream who expresses difficulties concerning constructing on sloping ground with the materials this income group can afford.

The Exposed Part of the Stream
Contrary to the culverted part of the stream from the south to the centre of The Magazine, we suggest to keep the remaining stream exposed. The inhabitants along the banks have been removed, whereupon a natural flooded area from the central water outlet in The Magazine to the present one led

Existing settlement

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Small scale residential units in 2025

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Income Groups
under New Road is planned. The natural band is given a wideness stretching from 25 metres east of the most eastern bending of the stream to 25 metres west of the most western bending. Where there is a marked change in the contour lines of the landscape, the buffer-zone of the flooded area is decreased. This intervention will eliminate the risk of flooding during the rainy season for artisans, shopkeepers and inhabitants. Even with this wide green area, Old and The New Site are still to be connected with pedestrian bridges. 14% or 27 hectare of the entire Magazine area is planned as flooded area. Through our fieldwork it has been brought to our attention that present Ghanaian lifestyle might be facing changes. The extended family’s high degree of sociality is met with an increasing wish for more privacy. This is probably a gap between generations and their different ideals, and to some extend we plan The Magazine 2025 to comply with these changes. The private apartments are the ones build in the vertical lines of the underlying foundation of a workshop or a spare-part dealer. This building erects as a block, most likely in two or three storeys. The main staircase splits up each floor into individual entrances and galleries. Here the collectivism of the traditional compound-house courtyard gives way to a higher degree of individual usage of the space. The less private apartments on top of the workshop or spare-part dealer buildings share all outdoor areas and facilities of the specific floor. The corridors and terraces created by the separated building masses are common to the habitants, and these areas maintain a compound-like society among the people inhabiting the building while relieving the pressure on the passage courtyard on ground level. Our experience is that the present private apartments tend to be equipped with expensive facilities such as ceramic toilets and sinks, tile floors, and walls together with kitchen facilities differing extraordinary from the traditional shared kitchen of for instance the compound house. This tendency suggests that the privacy of these apartments appeal to high-income groups who spend vast amounts of money on the establishment and creation of their home, and we believe that this segment is growing in the future. Directed towards the middle-income groups are the detached first floor apartments. Because of the higher frequency of shared facilities, the rent on these apartments is meant to be lower. The habitants of this income group supposedly would not choose to prioritise the aesthetics of the apartment as much as the high-income group, and the environment of the first floor detached apartment therefore resembles the compound house courtyard in a higher degree than the environment surrounding the private apartments.

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meeting the wet land

meeting the wet land

meeting the large scale workshops meeting the large scale workshops

small scale housing

small scale housing

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Transitions
In order to give an impression of how our proposal could appear at specific sites, we have chosen to show three characteristic spots where different functions meet each other.

The Housing zone and the Industrial Core Zone
Our second example also modifies the general plan. To avoid close contact between inhabitants and the nuisance of the industrial core, we here waive the rule of building housing facilities on top of each workshop and make only single storey buildings containing workshops face the industrial core on the opposite side of the road. The second row of workshops though does contain housing on the first floor and a courtyard is therefore still present in the void between two buildings. We believe that the future repair of large vehicles will be carried out as it is done today, in the open air.

The Workshop Housing Zone and the Flooded Area
In our first example the plot structure goes from approximately 25x50 metres on one side of the road to 25x25 metres on the other. The reason for this is the replacement of the courtyard with the open area of the flooded area. Where the plot sizes are decreased there are no possibilities for car access from the flooded

For this reason the buildings which will characterise the industrial core mainly will be shacks for tools and machinery. These buildings do not offer much screening towards the road which is why a buffer zone of parking and plantation between industry and the dividing public road should be made. By planting trees, the noise and dust nuisances from the industry might also be reduced.

The workshop - housing zoneand the small scale residential area
Because of their size, the small scale residential units appear quite different than the rest of the

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area and we have planned it in this way to keep the area intact. There still might be a request for a buffer zone between the bush-like flooded area and the workshop - habitation plots. We suggest solving this problem through the establishment of backyard-like areas consisting of shady trees, cared for and used by the inhabitants of the first floor apartments.

Transition between the workshop - housing zone and the flooded

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buildings in The Magazine. An aim of our plan is to give these units the identity of a vigorous place. By demarcating the units with shady trees, a soft boundary together with a recreational public sphere is created. In this sphere the opportunity for petty-trading and other small scale commercial activity is also possible. Scattered within the units, the plantation of trees would also serve the purpose of

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Transition between the workshop - housing zone and the industrial core zone

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creating a common place; here it would just be in a private way directed towards the inhabitants of the specific unit. From the first, second or third floor of the surrounding apartments the small scale residential units will somehow be covered by branches and leaves, and like that contribute to a different image of The Magazine 2025.
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